Madrid, May 7: Top seed Sere Williams and reigning champion Maria Sharapova were both taken to the limit in their tennis matches at the Madrid Open here.
Williams needed two hours and 45 minutes and survived three match points to dispatch former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(1), who was the beaten filist here in 2011 and 2012. The result only tells half the story as Azarenka led 40-0 on her serve in the 12th game of the fil set only to hit three double faults to allow Williams to save the match on Wednesday, reports Xinhua.
Sharapova also needed three sets to defeat France’s Caroline Garcia 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 but will know she needs to improve her serve if she is to have the chance of repeating last year’s success.
Meanwhile, No.4 seed Petra Kvitkova had things much easier and needed just an hour and eight minutes for her victory over Astasia Pavlyuchenkova and No.5 seed Calorline Wozniacki had a comfortable win against No.9 seed Agnieska Radwanska.
In men’s singles, No.6 seed Tomas Berdych defeated Richard Gasquet 7-6(3), 7-5 in a game where his big serve made the difference. Later, Spain’s No.7 seed David Ferrer brushed past qualifier Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-4, 6-0 while Grigor Dimitov and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also progressed into the last 16. IANS