Top seeded superstar Maria Sharapova of Russia needed a pep-talk from her coach to overcome the tough Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic 6-3 7-5. The former world #1 was justly hard on herself and knows she must raise the level of her game if she wants to capture the championship in New Zealand.
It was no easier for defending champion Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium. She had a tough draw in pulling Sabine Lisicki of Germany. Although Lisicki was a qualifier, she has the ability on a given day to play as well as any top player (or as poorly as any qualifier). It was a good day for Lisicki as she pushed the Belgian to three sets, but in the end Wickmayer would prove too much, winning 6-2 3-6 6-2.
Not so fortunate to survive was third-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia. After getting out to a fast start, she was dismissed 2-6 6-4 6-4 by unseeded PENG Shuai of China. Peng had lost three straight matches to Kuznetsova and looked on her way to a fourth early. But Shuai was tenacious after dropping the first set, hitting shot for shot with her high ranked opponent. Peng sets up an intriguing quarterfinal match-up with qualifier Heather Watson, who took out ninth-seed Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6 6-1. For Watson and Peng, there is a great opportunity to reach a semifinal very few, if any, would have predicted for them at the beginning of the tournament.
Singles - Second Round
(1) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Renata Voracova (CZE) 63 75
(2) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. (Q) Sabine Lisicki (GER) 62 36 62
Peng Shuai (CHN) d. (3) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 26 64 64
(4) Julia Goerges (GER) d. Alizé Cornet (FRA) 62 64
Simona Halep (ROU) d. (7) Elena Vesnina (RUS) 26 64 40 ret. (GI illness)
Greta Arn (HUN) d. (8) Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) 46 75 75
(Q) Heather Watson (GBR) d. (9) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) 76(5) 61
(WC) Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) d. Anne Keothavong (GBR) 75 63