Sharapova humbles Safina 6-0, 6-1 in an hour.

Of the four Russians to reach the fourth round in the women’s singles draw, Maria Sharapova was the only one to continue on to the quarter-finals after dismissing countrywoman Dinara Safina 6-2, 6-0 in 61 minutes. The two former WTA No. 1s were facing off for the first time since the 2008 French Open. Safina, who had dropped outside the Top 100 of the WTA Rankings coming into Indian Wells, had posted wins over two-time champion Daniela Hantuchova and No. 4 seed Samanatha Stosur en route to the fourth round. “You just go out there, and no matter who you’re playing, you have to expect your opponent to play great tennis,” said Sharapova. “This was one of the first tournaments that she’s starting to play a lot better and find her form. That’s dangerous, because she comes into a match, and confidence is a huge thing. You can come in and swing away. I just wanted to take care of business.”

Caroline Wozniacki was made to work for a place in the quarter-finals, rallying past Russian Alisa Kleybanova 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 in one hour and 55 minutes Tuesday in Indian Wells. Wozniacki made a slow start to the match, winning just four points on return and dropping serve twice, before gaining her footing. “It was a tough match,” admitted the top seed and 2010 finalist. “I think I made a little bit too many unforced errors in the beginning. She started well, she started aggressively, but I just couldn’t find my rhythm out there. “Then second set I just told myself I needed to move my feet a little bit more. I need to have a little bit more margin over the net and from the lines, and things started to go my way a little bit more and I started to play better.” Wozniacki advances to the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals for a third straight year and will next confront a good friend, No. 8 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. “We were competing together when we were both young, under 18s,” the 20-year-old Dane said. “One of our first tournaments we played on the WTA was in Memphis, and we played doubles together there. We made it to the finals.

Azarenka saved four match points to battle past No. 9 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) after three hours and four minutes. The 21 year old will be looking to reach the Indian Wells semi-finals for a second time.


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