China Open: Maria Sharapova beats Ekaterina Makarova, Simona Halep next

Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova will next play Romanian world two Simona Halep

Maria Sharapova beat fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova in three sets to set up a third-round meeting with Simona Halep at the China Open.

Wildcard Sharapova beat world number 33 Makarova 6-4 4-6 6-1, before second seed Halep led Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2 2-1 when the Slovak retired ill.

Halep now gets the chance to make up for her first-round loss to Sharapova at the US Open in August.

Czech twelfth seed Petra Kvitova beat American Varvara Lepchenko 6-4 6-4.

The two-time Wimbledon champion seed will play Denmark's world number six Caroline Wozniacki in round three.

World number four Karolina Pliskova went through with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Andrea Petkovic of Germany, while US Open semi-finalist Coco Vandeweghe retired from her match against Daria Gavrilova with a spine injury, with the Australian leading 6-3 2-0.

Sharapova, 30, has all won seven of her matches against Halep, the world number two.

"We know each other's games very well, that's no secret," said the Russian, ranked 104th after returning from a 15-month doping suspension in April.

"They've always been very challenging, tough, competitive, emotional."

WTA Finals countdown

With six of the places now confirmed for the eight-player season finale in Singapore later this month, Jelena Ostapenko and Johanna Konta remain best placed to take the two remaining spots.

French Open champion Ostapenko will secure the seventh place if the Latvian beats Australia's Sam Stosur on Wednesday.

Konta lost in the first round, and has withdrawn from next week's Hong Kong Open with a foot injury, but remains well placed to complete the line-up.

Her principal threat is likely to come from France's Caroline Garcia, who needs to reach at least the semi-finals in Beijing to extend her chances another week. She plays Belgian Elise Mertens on Wednesday.

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