Zheng Ousts Sharapova
Published March 14, 2010 12:00
INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - She had flown under the radar since a shock run to the Aussie Open semifinals but on Sunday it was Zheng Jie's time to shine once again, ousting Maria Sharapova in three sets at Indian Wells.
After splitting sets with the No.10-seeded Sharapova, Zheng, the No.18 seed, was twice down a break early in the third set; but she kept plugging away with her fiery determination and backboard-like groundstrokes, eventually taking out the Russian megastar, 63 26 63. Highlights: Zheng vs. Sharapova
"I've played Maria lots of times before but never beat her, so today gives me a lot of confidence," Zheng said. "After Australia I believe I can do more and more."
"She's like a ball machine," Sharapova said. "She hits a lot of balls back, hits them deep... It was just very inconsistent from my end. I returned well - I'd have periods of good games, but then the problem was keeping them all together.
"It's not easy to lose. We're all competitors and we all want to win matches."
Other Sunday winners were No.2 seed Caroline Wozniacki, No.4 seed Elena Dementieva, No.5 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, No.11 seed Marion Bartoli, No.16 seed Nadia Petrova, No.19 seed Aravane Rezai and Alicia Molik.
"It probably wasn't my best match. I feel I need to practice more," Dementieva said. "You go through a difficult day like that and just move forward."
Molik, in her best result since returning to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour from a year of retirement last summer, reached the fourth round with a crushing 60 62 defeat of Elena Baltacha. Baltacha, who was a qualifier into the draw, had taken out Li Na - the first Top 10 win of her career - a round earlier.
"I'm gutted I couldn't produce the performance I wanted to today," Baltacha said. "I thought Alicia played a very smart game and caused me a lot of problems. She's more experienced than I am at being in that position and it showed. I'm learning all the time and next time I'm in that position I'll handle it better. The week has been fantastic. It's a big positive and I have to remember that."