Tennis: Sharapova gets wake-up call to reach Miami quarters

Reuters, Monday 24 Mar 2014

Maria Sharapova, of Russia, returns the ball to Kirsten Flipkens, of Belgium, at the Sony Open tennis tournament, Monday, March 24, 2014 (Photo: AP)

Fourth seed Maria Sharapova got a much-needed wake-up call after sleep-walking her way through the opening set before dispatching Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 3-6 6-4 6-1 on Monday to reach the Sony Open quarter-finals.

German fifth seed Angelique Kerber also needed three sets to get by Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-4 1-6 6-3.

Sharapova, playing the first match of the day on a drowsy and overcast center court, appeared to have trouble getting up for her fourth-round clash, as did many of the ticket holders with only a few hundred spectators sprinkled across the quiet stadium as play began.

Flipkens, however, came ready to play and broke a misfiring Sharapova at the first opportunity and again to go up 4-0 with the help of back-to-back double faults from the Russian.

In the second set, a suddenly alert and focused Sharapova turned the tables on the 19th seeded Belgian as she raced in front 4-0 on a pair of breaks on way to leveling the match.

Trailing 3-1 in the third set, Flipkens had a glorious opportunity to get back into the contest after going up 0-40 on Sharapova's serve but was unable to convert on any of her four break chances.

Sharapova, a five-time runner-up in Miami, weathered the storm then closed out the match by sweeping the next two games to reach the last eight.

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