Sharapova survives first-round scare

Stuttgart – Defending champion Maria Sharapova survived a first-round scare at the Porsche Grand Prix by defeating Lucie Safarova 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-6(2) on Tuesday.

The sixth-seeded Sharapova needed three hours, 24 minutes for her 100th clay victory, three days after her 27th birthday.

Sixth-seeded Maria Sharapova is bidding to win the Porsche Grand Prix for the third time in a row. Photo: Mike Ehrmann. Credit: AFP

Sharapova, who is bidding to win the tournament for the third time in a row, next faces fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who defeated Latvian qualifier Diana Marcinkevica 6-3, 6-2.

Jelena Jankovic, the no 5 seed, saved four match points to come back and claim a 2-6, 7-6 (8), 6-3 win over German lucky loser Mona Barthel.

No 8 seed Sara Errani recovered from a double break down in the second set to defeat Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4 for the Italian’s first win in five visits to Stuttgart.

Also on Tuesday, Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Italian qualifier Gioia Barbieri 6-2, 6-3 and another Russian, Alisa Kleybanova, defeated Croatia's Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2, 6-4.

Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro defeated Russia’s Ekaterina

Makarova 6-0, 6-4 and Roberta Vinci had a 6-3, 6-2 win over Annika Beck, ensuring the 20-year-old qualifier was the first German knocked out of the tournament. – Sapa-AP

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