Azarenka, Sharapova advance to last eight
INDIAN WELLS - Agence France-Presse
Victoria Azarenka overcomes a sore ankle to defeat Urszula Radwanska at the Indian Wells tennis tournament. AFP photoRussian superstar Maria Sharapova stepped it up when she had to on March 12 to set up an Indian Wells quarterfinal clash with Sara Errani, a rematch of last year’s French Open final. Sharapova defeated Errani in straight sets in the championship match at Roland Garros to complete a career Grand Slam. The Russian star, who won Indian Wells in 2006 and finished runner-up last year to Victoria Azarenka, started slowly against Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino but turned up the heat to win 7-5, 6-0.
Errani, who won the women’s clay-court title in Acapulco in the build-up to Indian Wells, advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over ninth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France. “I think one of her biggest keys is her consistency and her ability to make her opponent play,” Sharapova said of Errani. “She doesn’t make many mistakes. You’ve really got to win the match out there.”
Top-seed Azarenka advanced, shrugging off a sore ankle to beat Urszula Radwanska 6-3, 6-1.
Azarenka remained unbeaten in a 2013 season that has included an Australian Open triumph and a WTA title at Doha. But the win over Radwanska, ranked 37th in the world, was tougher than the scoreline might suggest. “I think it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t feeling that well,” said Azarenka. “My ankle was bothering me. It has been bothering me for a while, so it hasn’t been really getting better. “But on the bright side, I won the match,” added Azarenka, who next faces eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.