Posted: Sunday March 24, 2013 4:54 PM

Maria Sharapova reaches 4th round at Key Biscayne

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) - Mired in a marathon game midway through the opening set, Maria Sharapova wore down her opponent with characteristic resolve and relentlessness, then won the last point without hitting a shot.

That put Sharapova ahead to stay, and she beat fellow Russian Elena Vesnina on a muggy, 85-degree afternoon at the Sony Open, 6-4, 6-2.

The No. 3-seeded Sharapova moved into the fourth round, eager to fill one of the few holes in her resume. While she completed a career Grand Slam last year, she has never won Key Biscayne, losing the finals in 2005, `06, `11 and `12.

Her pivotal moment Sunday against Vesnina came at 3-all in the first set. The next game went to deuce seven times, with Sharapova repeatedly erasing a deficit, until Vesnina dumped a weary second serve into the net on break point.

All told, Sharapova benefited from eight double-faults by Vesnina, and erased eight of the nine break points she faced.

Two seeded women were eliminated - No. 6 Angelique Kerber and No. 11 Nadia Petrova. Kerber lost to No. 28 Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-0, while Petrova was ousted by No. 22 Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (7), 6-4.

Lucky loser Lauren Davis of the United States was beaten by No. 32 Alize Cornet, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

In men's play, No. 3 David Ferrer defeated Fabio Fognini 6-1, 7-5 and next faces No. 13 Kei Nishikori, who beat Xavier Malisse 6-2, 7-5.

Ferrer improved to 6-0 against Fognini, including three victories this year, and reached the fourth round at Key Biscayne for the eighth time.

 
SI.com
Hot Topics: Sammy Watkins NFL Draft Rick Adelman NFL Questions Aaron Hernandez Donald Trump
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines, your California privacy rights, and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint