Millennium Post

Maria books fourth round in Miami

Third-seeded Maria Sharapova battled to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over fellow Russian Elena Vesnina on Sunday to book her fourth-round berth at the Miami ATP Masters and WTA hardcourt tournament.

Sharapova, who won the title last week at Indian Wells, will take on Czech Klara Zakopalova for a quarterfinal berth on Monday.

The Russian star has never won the Miami title, although she’s reached the final four times.

Steffi Graf and Kim Clijsters are the only women to win both Indian Wells and Miami in the same year -- Graf in 1994 and 1996 and Clijsters in 2005. In hot, humid, windy weather, Vesnina started strong, breaking Sharapova to take a 3-1 lead in the opening set.

Sharapova responded by winning 11 of the next 14 games to secure a straight-sets victory. ‘Isn’t it amazing what happens when you’re down? You just switch on,’ Sharapova said with smile.

‘I think it was a matter of patience. From the warmup the conditions are not great. You’re facing an opponent that is very capable of playing good tennis. ‘Maybe her ranking is not where she wants it to be right now, but she’s beaten me before.

‘In situations like this where it’s tough and it’s hot, it kind of levels out the game a little bit as well, you have to be a bit more patient. That was really important today.’


World No. 5 David Ferrer beat Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-1, 7-5 on Sunday to book a fourth round clash with Japan’s Kei Nishikori at the ATP Miami Masters. Ferrer, seeded third, was playing his first match of the tournament after advancing to the third round on a walkover when his scheduled opponent Dmitry Tursunov of Russia withdrew. The 30-year-old Spaniard will battle for a quarterfinal berth against 13th-seeded Nishikori, a 6-2, 7-5 winner over Belgian Xavier Malisse. ‘It’s going to be a very difficult match,’ Ferrer said. ‘The last time I played him at the Australian Open I beat him in three sets, but I will have to run a lot. We will play a lot of rallies on the baseline. Nishikori, he has unbelievable shots. He plays with a lot of power.’ Ferrer is vying for his third title of the season, after successfully defending titles in Auckland and Buenos Aires.
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