Fri, Aug 10, 2007 - Page 24 News List

Daniilidou injury propels Sharapova into third round

AP , CARSON, CALIFORNIA

Maria Sharapova wriggled out of trouble in the first set before her opponent retired in the second on Wednesday, putting the Russian top seed into the third round of the East West Bank Classic.

Sharapova, who had a bye the first round, advanced 7-6 (5), 3-1 over Eleni Daniilidou. The Greek called for a medical timeout and then walked to the net to shake hands with the top-seeded Russian.

Sharapova walked to Daniilidou's chair and spoke briefly with her opponent, who had been sick the last four days. A bug has spread among some players recently.

"I wanted badly to play against Maria," said Daniilidou, her voice shaky and tears streaking her face. "I wanted to try."

"My first-round match yesterday was pretty tough. I didn't practice at all these days. I wanted to give my best," she said.

Sharapova will meet unseeded Michaella Krajicek in the third round.

Daniilidou had Sharapova on the run in the first set, which the Russian won in a tiebreaker when Daniilidou netted a backhand. Sharapova has won all five of their meetings.

"In the beginning of the second set, the points were a little shorter," Sharapova said. "In the first set, I felt like she played some of the best tennis she's ever played against me. I expected her to come out strong because she can play good tennis and be extremely dangerous."

No. 3 Ana Ivanovic defeated qualifier Ashley Harkleroad 6-4, 6-2 in her first match since losing in the Wimbledon semi-finals to eventual champion Venus Williams.

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