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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Exhausted Sharapova Falls, Kuznetsova Climbs at China Open

APMaria Sharapova leaving the court after losing to Peng Shuai of China at the second round of China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009. Peng defeated Sharapova 6-2, 6-4.

BEIJING — A tired Maria Sharapova bowed out in the third round of the $6.6 million China Open on Wednesday, beaten 6-2, 6-4 by China's Peng Shuai to the delight of the crowd at the Olympic tennis center.

Sharapova, who claimed her first title since returning from a shoulder injury in Tokyo on Saturday, had to come from 5-2 down in the third set to win a three-hour opening match on Tuesday.

There was to be no way back against Peng, however, and the world number 53 converted her third match point to produce an upset for the second evening in a row after her second-round win over holder Jelena Jankovic.

"My energy level was not where it should have been ... there've been occasions where I've been able to fight back, today was just not one of those days, unfortunately," Sharapova told reporters.

"She played really solid and really aggressive and did all the right things to win the match."

Peng, who went straight back out to play doubles, must next beat either second seed Serena Williams or Nadia Petrova for a place in the China Open semifinals for the third time.

Fourth-seeded Russian Yelena Dementyeva immediately restored order in the second Russia versus China clash of the evening, rattling through her third-round match against Li Na 6-2, 6-0 in just under an hour to move into the quarterfinals.

"That's the worst match I've played in the last six months," said a defensive Li, whose relations with the Chinese media have often been strained.

"It's normal to win and lose, why do you always question my attitude when I lose? Sharapova also lost today, would you say she has psychological problems?"

Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2006 champion, overcame a misfiring serve to claim her place in the last eight with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 victory over Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko.

The sixth-seeded Russian will face compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarterfinals after the teenager beat Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak 6-4, 6-4.