Sharapova faces Stosur at Pan Pacific Open

After tough battle in last round, Russian Maria Sharapova wins in two sets to set up quarterfinal against Sam Stosur.

    Sharapova faces Stosur at Pan Pacific Open
    World number two Sharapova overpowered Safarova despite problems with her serve in Tokyo [AP]

    Two-time champion Maria Sharapova overpowered Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 7-6 (5) to advance to the Pan Pacific Open quarterfinals on Wednesday.

    The second-seeded Sharapova was coming off a tough, three-hour win over British qualifier Heather Watson on Tuesday, while Safarova advanced to the third round on a walkover.

    Sharapova coasted through the first set and led 3-0 before Safarova mounted a comeback, breaking Sharapova three times to take a 6-5 lead.

    "After a long match yesterday I was really happy to win in two sets"

    Maria Sharapova

    Sharapova broke Safarova in the final game to force a tiebreaker which she won with an ace after 1 hour, 43 minutes. However, the Russian struggled with her serve and double-faults on big points almost cost her the second set as the sun set over Tokyo.

    "After a long match yesterday I was really happy to win in two sets,'' Sharapova said.

    "I had a bit of a letdown in the second set but was really happy that I could close it out in the tiebreaker.''

    Sharapova will face Sam Stosur in the quarterfinals. The eighth-seeded Australian beat Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-4, 7-5.

    In other matches, Sara Errani of Italy beat Marion Bartoli 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 while Nadia Petrova of Russia beat Petra Martic of Croatia 7-6 (2), 6-7 (1), 6-4.

    After struggling in the first set, the sixth-seeded Errani broke Bartoli in the second game of the second set and never looked back.

    "It was a tough match on this fast court,'' said Errani, who has won three titles this year.

    "I didn't start off well but neither did she. She got a little tired in the second set and that's when I started to play better.''

    Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka faced Roberta Vinci of Italy later on Wednesday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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