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Serena survives, Sharapova makes quarters

March 25, 2013 at 11:44 PM
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MIAMI, March 25 (UPI) -- Five-time champion Serena Williams barely avoided a fourth-round upset and Maria Sharapova posted a quick win Monday in fourth-round play at the Sony Open.

The top-ranked Williams needed 1 hour, 57 minutes to mount a second-set comeback and scrape her way to a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Slovak Dominika Cibulkova and a berth in the Miami quarterfinals.

Williams trailed 1-4 in the middle frame but recovered to sweep its final five games, later grabbing the advantage by breaking serve at love for a 2-1 lead in the final stanza.

She fired 14 aces, including one to end the match.

Williams drew Li Na as a quarterfinal opponent after the fifth-seeded Chinese star advanced with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 victory over Spaniard Garbine Muguruza.

Also Monday, third-seeded Sharapova, coming off a win at Indian Wells, disposed of 21st-seeded Czech Klara Zakopalova 6-2, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals.

There she'll meet eighth-seeded Italian Sara Errani, who rallied for a 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 12 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia.

Elsewhere, No. 4 seed and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska gained the quarters with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 comeback win over 16th-seeded American Sloane Stephens.

No. 30 Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium also moved on, rallying over Croat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-3.

In another quarterfinal matchup, 15th-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci will take on Serbia's Jelena Jankovic after each notched a fourth-round win Monday.

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