Tokyo: Crowd-favourite Maria Sharapova needed two tie-breaks to defeat Germany's Julia Goerges in the Pan Pacific Open Wednesday, as she set up a revenge match against Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova.
The Russian world number two, who has won four out of her 24 WTA titles in Tokyo including the Pan Pacific Open twice in 2005 and 2009, needed two hours and four minutes to score a 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/4) victory.
The 21-year-old Kvitova, who defeated Sharapova in the final to claim the Czech's first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in July, outclassed American Vania King 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) to reach the quarter-finals.
"I have a tough loss against her (Kvitova) at Wimbledon," Sharapova said of her two-set defeat to the Czech.
"She played really great tennis, she was hitting the ball very big and deep, she was really consistent throughout the tournament. I hope I can learn from the match and raise my level. No matter how good she plays. I'm looking forward to it," she said.
Sharapova, seeded second in the tournament, started a little sluggishly in her match against 13th seed Goerges as she went 1-3 down in the first set.
But the Russian never looked in real danger in the first tie breaker, hitting an array of her powerful shots, forcing Goerges to mis-fire her forehands four times in a row from 3-4 as the Russian closed out the set.
Sharapova faced a set point against her in an erratic second set, after she had lost a service break lead twice and failed to keep her own to go down 4-5. On the break point -- a set point for Goerges -- at 30-40 in the ninth game,
Sharapova's power-packed stroke forced the German to mis-fire her forehand shot and the two players headed for a second tie-breaker.
Sharapova clinched the set and match on a forehand error from the German.
"It was a tough match... I was very pleased that I really stepped up in the tie-breakers. I think that was the difference today," said Sharapova.
The Russian said she lost her concentration after staying on court for an hour and a half.
"Obviously the goal was to keep the concentration. That's probably one of the toughest things. Unfortunately, it took me longer to get back into the second set. I could have concentrated a little bit more," she said.
Her compatriot Maria Kirilenko, who eliminated US Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia in the second round, kept her momentum by beating former world number one Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 6-3, 6-1.
Fourth seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia whipped Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2, while seventh seed Marion Bartoli of France breezed past China's Peng Shuai 6-2, 6-1.