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August 4, 2021

Serena beats Makarova, reclaims top ranking

Serena Williams ensured she would return to the top of the world rankings next week with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Russian Ekaterina Makarova in the second round of the $6.6 million China Open on Tuesday.

Dinara Safina’s second round defeat at the hands of 226th-ranked wildcard Zhang Shuai on Monday left the way open for Williams to end the Russian’s 25-week reign as number one and she never really looked like blowing her chance.

The 28-year-old American was broken in her first service game and made a meal of her last but converted her fourth match point to seal the victory, raising a single finger in the air in celebration of her return to the top.

If Williams’s victory was relatively straightforward, Maria Sharapova’s fight back from 5-2 down in the third set to beat ninth seeded Belarussian Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-7 7-5 was anything but.

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