China's Li into last 16 in Beijing

Chinese star Li Na brushed aside on-form Nadia Petrova of Russia in straight sets on Tuesday to progress to the last 16 of the China Open in Beijing.

Asia's top women's player, who needs a strong showing this week to qualify for the WTA Championships in Istanbul later this month, won the match convincingly at a packed National Tennis Stadium 6-1, 6-2.

It was the 2011 French Open champion's first win against Petrova, who triumphed at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Saturday, in seven attempts.

"That's the charm in playing tennis. Every day you can challenge yourself," Li said.

"You are defeated consecutively, but it doesn't mean you are defeated by her all the time. This is sport. You never know what's going to happen.

"I'm very much glad to see that I'm still making progress in this match," she added.

Thirty-year-old Li, who has never won her home tournament, played at a frenetic pace throughout, breaking her opponent's serve twice in the first set and three times in the second.

Li was broken just once -- in the sixth game of the second set, which lasted more than 13 minutes -- and served consistently better than Petrova, hitting five aces to her opponent's one.

Li, ranked eighth in the world and seeded seventh in Beijing, will play compatriot Peng Shuai in the third round of the tournament -- the fourth and final compulsory event of the women's calendar.

Asia's only Grand Slam winner is in eighth position in the race to compete at the $4.9-million end-of-season Championships, featuring the year's top eight players, two places ahead of France's Marion Bartoli.

Bartoli, the China Open's ninth seed, also progressed Tuesday, defeating Ayumi Morita of Japan 6-4, 6-3 while Spain's Lourdes Dominguez Lino knocked out Britain's Laura Robson 7-5, 6-3.

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