Maria Sharapova advances, Mardy Fish falls at Indian Wells
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) -- Maria Sharapova advanced to the women's quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino of Spain, someone she had never played before.
Sharapova trailed 2-0 and 3-2 in the first set before rallying on a cloudless day in the desert when temperature reached the lower 90s.
"Just didn't get a good rhythm on her game from the beginning," she said. "Maybe I was going for the lines a little bit more than I had to, especially in the first few games when you don't know too much about your opponent or haven't played her.
"Towards the end of the first and beginning of the second set I really stepped it up, was being more aggressive, and really gave myself a better margin than I did throughout the first set."
No. 8 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga edged 32nd-seeded Mardy Fish 7-6 (4), 7-6 (0) in a third-round match on the men's side.
"I really felt the match could have been a completely different scoreline pretty easily," Fish said. "That's why you're a little disappointed."
Tsonga has beaten Fish all four times they have played. The Frenchman next plays 17th-seeded Milos Raonic, who outlasted Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
"I'm going to have to serve well and try to get ahead on his second-serve points," Raonic said about Tsonga. "When he's making his first serves he serves really well and it's tough."
Fish lost in the third round for the second straight year. He is playing his first tournament since last September after being sidelined with a heart condition, although he hasn't disclosed the exact nature of the problems.
"I certainly missed playing tennis for a living. I certainly missed making money, got bills to pay," he said. "It's a tough thing because the last time that I was on the tennis court was some of the worst times I have ever had. That part is very hard to deal with. It's not easy to come back from that. This week is a good step in the right direction."
Fish is still in contention in doubles with partner James Blake, and he plans to play in Key Biscayne, Fla., next week.
In other men's matches, 19th-seeded Tommy Haas got by No. 11 Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (2), and Carlos Berlocq defeated No. 16 Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-2.
On the women's side, fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova beat No. 19 seed Klara Zakopalova 6-2, 6-3, and sixth-seeded Sara Errani defeated No. 9 Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-2. Errani next faces Sharapova.
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