Sharapova beats Dechy at Pacific Life Open

Updated: 22 March 2007 06:37 IST

Maria Sharapova, the defending champion of the Pacific Life Open, stayed on course to a repeat performance with a win over Nathalie Dechy of France.

Indian Wells, California:

Top-ranked Maria Sharapova, the defending champion of the Pacific Life Open, stayed on course to a repeat performance with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Nathalie Dechy of France in the third round. Sharapova is playing in her first tournament since early February and continues to struggle to regain her form. She had four double faults and just one ace on Sunday, and made 47 unforced errors to go with 24 winners in a match that was played in 90-degree heat and lasted 1 hour, 40 minutes. She has made 97 errors in her two wins, overcoming her miscues by playing well on key points. "I think that's to be expected. When you don't compete for that amount of time, it's normal. I definitely feel like these matches are getting the rough stuff (out of the way). "It's just good to be back on court and being in some tight situations. I miss that after a while, " said Maria Sharapova. Long lay-off Sharapova had been idle since retiring from her semifinal at Tokyo with a left hamstring strain, and she said some of her service inconsistency stems from the injury. Sharapova's next opponent will be No 15 seed Vera Zvonareva, who advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Victoria Azarenko on a day that the top women advanced. The men's draw, however, was full of upsets. American Mardy Fish, the 21st seed, had a 5-2 lead in the third set tiebreaker but lost the next five points and the match to Paul-Henri Mathieu of France, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (5). American Michael Russell had better luck and toppled eleventh-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, 7-6 (2), 6-4. Dmitry Tursunov (20), Marat Safin (23), Dominic Hrbaty (24) and Radek Stepanek (25) also were upset victims.

Topics : Tennis Andy Roddick Lukas Dlouhy Rohan Bopanna Leander Paes Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi Maria Sharapova
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