Tennis: Sharapova defeats Kvitova to win China Open

Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after winning against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic during their women's singles final match at the China Open tennis tournament in the National Tennis Centre of Beijing on Oct 5, 2014, her first tennis title si
Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after winning against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic during their women's singles final match at the China Open tennis tournament in the National Tennis Centre of Beijing on Oct 5, 2014, her first tennis title since she claimed victory at Roland Garros earlier this year. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - Maria Sharapova overcame a fierce challenge from Petra Kvitova on Sunday to win the China Open, her first tennis title since she claimed victory at Roland Garros earlier this year.

It was a battling performance from the Russian world No. 4, who will rise to second in the rankings following her hard-fought 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 win in Beijing, Kvitova's first loss in nine games.

Both players have already qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore in two weeks' time.