Sizzling Sharapova Wins 10 Straight Games
by Matt Fitzgerald|
Maria Sharapova put together another impressive performance at the Sony Ericsson Open Saturday afternoon, cruising past wild card Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 6-0.
Each player held serve to start the match, but Sharapova broke Lisicki in the third game to go up 2-1. After the German broke back to even the first set at 2-2, Sharapova proceeded to reel off 10 straight games, giving the Russian one of her most compelling wins of the season.
Though it was a straightforward win for the No. 16 seed, she didn’t take Lisicki’s current ranking of 217 for granted. “She's someone that's beaten top players before and has had a lot of success,” said Sharapova. “I knew that she would come out swinging pretty hard and deep.”
A two time finalist here, Sharapova is making her first appearance in Miami since 2007. The win sets up a clash against the highest seed in her quarter of the draw, Samantha Stosur, a player she has never lost to in six career meetings. The Russian believes her favorable head-to-head record won’t be much of a factor when the two take the court. “It's always a new match. That's why they put the nets up for us to play. That's why we go out there and have to play again.”
Sharapova knows Stosur has improved her game since they last played a year and half ago in Tokyo. “I have to put the previous encounters behind, take a few things that worked well for me and try to use them again, but also know that we did play a while ago.”
The No. 4 seeded Stosur dominated in her opening set against 30th seeded Lucie Safarova, but was challenged in the second by the Czech player, eventually winning 6-0, 7-6(1). Up 5-2 in the second set, the Australian dropped three straight games and required a tie-break to advance. A win against Sharapova would advance Stosur into the quarter-final stage of the tournament for a third consecutive year.
Sixth seeded Jelena Jankovic was tested early on by No. 32 seed Klara Zakopalova, but after breaking the Czech player late in the first set, it was smooth sailing for the Serbian. Her 7-5, 6-1 victory places the 2008 Miami finalist into the fourth round, where she’ll play Anabel Medina Garrigues, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Russian Elena Vesnina. Jankovic has a 6-0 lifetime record against the Spainiard and has dropped just 10 games in their two hard court encounters.
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