Simona Halep recorded her first victory over Maria Sharapova in her eighth attempt in reaching the China Open quarter-finals in the process.

The world number two took just 72 minutes to beat the former Russian number one, 6-2 6-2.

Halep broke Sharapova five times in seven service games and made only six unforced errors throughout the match as her Russian opponent failed to get comfortable at any point during the match.

Next up for Simona is Russia’s Daria Kasatkina, who beat defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6 7-5 6-2 in two hours and 32 minutes earlier today.

Maria Sharapova had previously beaten Simona in all seven of their previous meetings, including at the US Open back in August.  However, today she committed a staggering 39 unforced errors in Beijing.

The 30-year-old only returned to competitive tennis in April earlier this year after she received a 15-month doping ban.  This was Sharapova’s first China Open since she won the title in 2014.

Now ranked 104th in the WTA rankings, Maria Sharapova had been on court for more than five hours in her first two matches combined in China, and fatigue from those may have been a factor as Halep broke to love in the first game.

Simona Halep only dropped four games overall, and held to love twice in the second set as she went on to serve out the match.