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Tennis: Sharapova pleased despite Stuttgart scare

Defending champion Maria Sharapova admits she had a tough opening in her bid to win a third straight Stuttgart WTA tournament title after her three-sets win over Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic. Sharapova, who has never lost on her two appearances in Stuttgart winning the 2012 and 2013 titles, will face Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Thursday's second round match after beating Safarova 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2) late on Tuesday.

Tennis: Sharapova pleased despite Stuttgart scare

Defending champion Maria Sharapova admits she had a tough opening in her bid to win a third straight Stuttgart WTA tournament title after her three-sets win over Lucie Safarova. Sharapova, who has never lost on her two appearances in Stuttgart after winning the 2012 and 2013 titles, will face Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Thursday's last-16 tie after beating Czech Republic's Safarova 7-6(7/5), 6-7(5/7), 7-6 (7/2) late on Tuesday.

Tennis: Sharapova targets hat-trick of Stuttgart titles

Maria Sharapova opens her claycourt season in Germany this week where she hopes to claim a hat-trick of Stuttgart titles and her 30th WTA career trophy. The defending champion is unbeaten at the indoor tournament having won both the 2012 and 2013 crowns on her two previous appearances. "I've competed here for the last two years and won both times, so I have only positive memories," Sharapova told the Stuttgarter Nachrichten. "I don't want to miss out on an experience like this."

Williams, Li set up enticing Miami showdown

By Steve Keating MIAMI (Reuters) - Serena Williams and Li Na swept past familiar foes at the Sony Open on Thursday, setting up an exciting showdown for the Miami hardcourt crown between the world's top ranked players. World number one Williams continued her utter domination of Maria Sharapova with a 6-4 6-3 win over the fourth-seeded Russian, while second-ranked Li won a rematch of her Australian Open final, beating Dominika Cibulkova 7-5 2-6 6-3 to maintain her perfect record against the Slovakian.

Tennis: Top seeds Williams, Li set for Miami showdown

Serena Williams extended her dominance of Maria Sharapova on Thursday, defeating the Russian 6-4, 6-3 to reach the final of the Miami hardcourt tournament for the ninth time. World number one Williams will be seeking her second straight Miami crown when she takes on Australian Open champ Li Na who booked her spot in the final of the combined WTA and ATP event by beating Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 2-6, 6-3.

Tennis: Li advances to Miami final

China's Li Na advanced to the final of the WTA Tour's Miami hardcourt tournament by beating Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 on Thursday. Li will next face top seed Serena Williams who beat Russian Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3 in the other semi-final on Thursday. World number two Li hit two aces and had six double faults but she won 46 of 79 first serve points in the two hour, 20 minute match. jr/gph/dw

Tennis: ATP-WTA Miami results - 1st update

Results on Thursday from the 10th day of the WTA and ATP Miami Masters (x denotes seeded player): Men Quarter-finals Tomas Berdych (CZE x7) bt Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR x22) 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) Women Semi-finals Serena Williams (USA x1) bt Maria Sharapova (RUS x4) 6-4, 6-3 afp

Tennis: Serena powers past Sharapova and into Miami final

Serena Williams extended her dominance of Maria Sharapova on Thursday, defeating the Russian 6-4, 6-3 to reach the final of the Miami hardcourt tournament for the ninth time. World number one Williams will be seeking a second straight Miami crown -- and the seventh of her career -- on Saturday, when she takes on either Australian Open champion Li Na of China or Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova in the women's final of the combined WTA and ATP Masters event.

Tennis: Li advances to Miami semi-finals

World number two Li Na posted a 7-5, 7-5 victory over 11th seeded Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter-finals of the WTA and ATP Miami Masters tournament on Wednesday. China's Li won 63 percent of her first serve points and 79 of 150 total points in the match which lasted just over two hours. Li advances to the semi-finals where she will face Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia who beat Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets earlier in the day. Cibulkova is winless in six career meetings against Li, including a loss in the final of this year's Australian Open.

Tennis: Cibulkova ousts Radwanska to reach Miami semis

Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova rallied to bet third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 Wednesday and reach the semi-finals of the Miami hardcourt tournament. The 10th-seeded Slovakian next faces either second-seeded Li Na of China or Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki. Li beat Cibulkova in the Australian Open final and won the rematch in the quarter-finals at Indian Wells earlier this month.
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