French Open champion Maria Sharapova needed more than three hours to beat Heather Watson of Britain yesterday for a place in the third round at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament.
The Russian lost a service break while up twice in each set before finally taking the tie 6-7 (7/9), 6-3, 6-4.
Sharapova, 25, struggled with her serve, hitting three double faults in the 10th game of the first set, having to save two set points against her.
“I was not consistent enough. I had opportunities to win the first set and I didn’t. It wasn’t the best quality match,” said Sharapova.
The Russian hit nine aces but also had 14 double faults. “That certainly gave her a lot of confidence. I think that’s the reason why the match was so long. My percentage (of first serves) was very low as well. So I put pressure on myself, I hit so many second serves. Certainly I have to improve for tomorrow,” the second seed added.
No 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus maintained her good form to beat Tamira Paszek of Austria 6-1, 6-1.
Fourth seed Petra Kvitova (left) of the Czech Republic became the biggest casualty of the day when the 2011 Wimbledon champion crashed to a 6-4, 6-4 defeat to Petra Martic of Croatia.
Former World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark saw off Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova 7-6 (7/3), 6-1.
Sania exits in Rd 1
Second seed Indo-Spanish pair of Sania Mirza and Nuria Llagostera Vives were stunned 0-6, 6-4, 8-10 by Croatian-Hungary duo Darija Jurak and Katalin Marosi in the firt round of the women’s doubles event of the Pan Pacific Open yesterday.