at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Stuttgart, Germany - Maria Sharapova reached the last eight of the Stuttgart WTA tournament on Thursday with a convincing 6-4, 6-3 win over fellow-Russian Anastasia Pavlychenkova.
It was in stark contrast to her struggles of the previous day when she needed three tie-breaks and almost three-and-a-half hours to defeat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in a first round tie.
Seeded sixth this year, Sharapova is aiming for a third straight title on the red clay of Stuttgart as the preparations for the French Open get fully underway.
The four-time Grand Slam champion looked solid enough on serve, with just five double-faults to eight by her opponent and she had Pavlychenkova under constant pressure with her booming returns.
Her opponent in the quarter-finals will be Polish top seed Agnieszka Radwanska who proved too good for Italan doubles specialist Roberta Vinci, winning 6-3, 6-2.