Sharapova struggles en route to fourth round
World No. 3 Maria Sharapova was not at her best despite advancing to the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open with a 7-5 6-3 victory over Carla Suarez Navarro on Sunday.
Sharapova, seeded second in the draw, committed a string of unforced errors and lacked her usual authority at Indian Wells. Nevertheless, she came through in straight sets and will now face Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino of Spain.
"I thought it was a tough one," Sharapova said. "She's (Suarez Navarro) a quality player. She has a really solid game, a lot of variety, but she can hit the ball as well.
"There are a few things I want to improve on for the next match, but I was happy I got through on not a great day."
Arruabarrena-Vecino showed she will be no pushover for Sharapova, knocking out the 14th seed Roberta Vinci 2-6 6-4 6-4.
Also on Sunday, third seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland was a 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4 winner over Sorana Cirstea of Romania. On a day that saw both Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray drop sets in the men's draw, Radwanska was made to fight from behind to progress to round four.
Elsewhere, No. 6 seed Sara Errani of Italy won in straight sets over Johanna Larsson of Sweden 6-3 6-1; No. 13 Maria Kirilenko of Russia beat American qualifier Mallory Burdette 6-3 4-6 6-2 and No. 19 Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic beat No. 12 Dominika Cibulkova 6-4 7-5.