Sharapova struggles past Greek opponent in second round

By Xinhua

Washington : Russian top seed Maria Sharapova reached the third round at the $600,000 East West Bank Classic here as her opponent Eleni Daniilidou of Greece retired in the second set.

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Sharapova, who won her first title of the season in San Diego Sunday, had to battle to take the first set 7-6 (7-5) but was up 3-1 in the second when Daniilidou started having trouble breathing and decided she couldn’t continue.

The Greek said she was still feeling the effects of an illness that had prevented her from practicing for more than a week.

In the third round Sharapova will face Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands, who advanced Tuesday.

In Wednesday’s other second round matches, Israeli 10th seed Shahar Peer’s struggles continued as she fell 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6) to France’s Virginie Razzano.

Up next for Razzano is India’s Sania Mirza, who is having one of the best summers of any player on the tour. The 20-year-old upset seventh seed Martina Hingis in the second round Tuesday.

Tournament’s second seed Jelena Jankovic, runner-up to Russian Elena Dementieva here last year, managed to shrug off the after-effects of a cold to defeat China’s Peng Shuai 6-1, 6-1.

Her compatriot Ana Ivanovic, seeded third, also advanced, defeating American Ashley Harkleroad 6-4, 6-2.

Ivanovic was playing for the first time since falling in the Wimbledon semi-finals to eventual champion Venus Williams and booked a clash with Czech Lucie Safarova, who beat Ai Sugiyama of Japan.

Defending champion Dementieva needed just 54 minutes to dismiss American wild card Madison Brengle 6-2, 6-0.

She next faces fifth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) winner over American Jill Craybas.

Fourth-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova also advanced, beating American Lilia Osterloh 7-5, 6-3.