Beijing, 2nd Rd: Petra cruises past Lepchenko

Every time you play against a better opponent you are playing better as well because you know if you play so-so it won't go well on the court. I am trying always to be the best for myself.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova extended her run at the China Open on Tuesday, defeating American qualifier Varvara Lepchenko in the second round by the score of 6-4, 6-4.

In a battle of left-handers, the Czech No.12 seed was rarely tested in the 78-minute match, and improved her flawless head-to-head record against the American to eight wins and no losses.

Kvitova, the 2014 China Open runner-up (l. Sharapova) and a quarterfinalist last year, had a good serving day, with four aces and winning 88% of points on her first serve. Lepchenko was able to break Kvitova both times she had break points, but Kvitova’s sturdy hitting gave her four breaks of her own.

Kvitova’s win sets up a tantalizing third-round tussle with No.5 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark. Kvitova holds a slight 6-5 lead in her head-to-head record against the Dane, and another intriguing encounter in their eight-year rivalry is sure to follow in Beijing.

“Caroline is playing well,” Kvitova said. “It will be a very good match. I showed myself I can compete against the top players at the US Open, so I am looking forward to a big match again.” // Photos: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography