Maria Dismisses Dinara, Completes Final Eight
Published March 15, 2011 12:00
INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - Maria Sharapova was in blistering form in Indian Wells Tuesday night, storming into the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open with a 62 60 demolition of fellow former world No.1 Dinara Safina.
Sharapova, a champion at the Premier-level tournament in 2006 and this year's No.16 seed, fired 28 winners to just 15 unforced errors and won almost twice as many points as Safina, 56 to 30, during the 61-minute win on center court.
"It was a little unfortunate I didn't win the first game," said Sharapova, who had triple break point as Safina served the opening game of the match. "After that, though, I felt like I stepped it up. I put a lot of pressure on her from the first ball so she would feel on the defense. That was really important for me tonight.
"This was one of the first tournaments she's starting to play a lot better and find her form. That's dangerous because confidence is a huge thing. You can go out on the court and just swing away. I wanted to take care of business."
Sharapova has done very well during this Premier season in the past, but she pointed to other segments of the year as her favorites in her presser.
"I like the freshness coming into the Australian Open. I like the feeling that everyone has been away and training and having a holiday, then you see where everyone is and how they're playing. You also get a feel of where you are.
"The summer is obviously my favorite, going from clay to grass, even though for me it's a long trip because I stay in Europe most of the time. I don't go back home in between, so it's usually tough with the travel. But the great thing about it is you stay in a house in Wimbledon and it has that homey feel. It helps a lot, and you're able to have normal meals and a bit of a normal life."
Next up for Sharapova is one of the hottest players of the year so far, China's Peng Shuai, who twice rallied from a break down in the third set to overcome No.18 seed Nadia Petrova, 64 57 63. Peng has won 18 matches so far this year, tied for first with Kim Clijsters. She upset No.7 seed Li Na here too.