Maria Sharapova reaches quarters at Pan Pacific Open
Maria Sharapova needed 3 sets to beat Alisa Kleybanova 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the quarters at the Toray Pan Pacific Open.
Sharapova will next play against Iveta Benesova, who defeated Chang Kai-chan 7-5, 6-2.
The former world number 1 took control of the match in the second set when she broke Kleybanova three times to open up a 5-0 lead. Kleybanova broke back in the sixth game and held before Sharapova served to win the set.
“She started off really strong,” Sharapova said. “I was too slow in the beginning. Nobody had much of a warmup today, we kind of had to warm up in the first few games and she did a much better job of that than me.”
Sharapova broke Kleybanova three more times in the final set to claim the win.
With most of the seeded players out of the event Sharapova has a great chance to take this title but she knows it won’t be easy.
“Some of the other girls not in the top 10 have played really well here,” Sharapova said. “You’ve got to expect that from every player you play and focus on the task at hand.”
Photo getty images