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Tennis: Kvitova battles into Indian Wells second round

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova survived 10 double faults to beat Olga Govortsova in three sets Friday and reach the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Kvitova, the women's fifth seed in the combined ATP Masters and WTA hard court tournament, needed two hours and 20 minutes to subdue Govortsova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 on a blustery day in the California desert.

The hard-hitting Czech, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and arrived at Indian Wells fresh from a tournament triumph in Dubai, next faces Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko, who downed Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

Friday's slate was highlighted by second-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova's second-round opener against former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.

Sharapova, the 2006 champion here, was beaten in straight sets in last year's final by Victoria Azarenka, the top seed who was due to open her campaign on Saturday against two-time champion Daniela Hantuchova.

Sharapova captured her fourth Grand Slam singles title at the French Open last year, regaining the world No. 1 ranking for four weeks for her first spell at the top since 2008.

However, she's playing just her third tournament of 2013. After withdrawing from Brisbane with a right collarbone injury she reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and Doha.

Third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska was also in action, taking on US wild card Maria Sanchez, who is making her third appearance in the main draw of a WTA event.

Radwanska, ranked fourth in the world, has already nabbed two titles this year, at Auckland and Sydney.

With all of the 32 men's and women's seeds enjoying first-round byes, men's action was still in the first round.

Italian Fabio Fognini and Slovenian Aljaz Bedene were facing off for a chance to take on top seed Novak Djokovic, while the winner of the match between Russian Evgeny Donskoy and Japan's Ito Tatsuma earned a second-round clash with third-seeded US Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray.

bb/cw

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130308/tennis-kvitova-battles-indian-wells-second-round