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Mauresmo eases through, Sharapova struggles in Miami

Written by: Staff

MIAMI, Mar 27 (Reuters) Maria Sharapova saved eight set points before finally grinding out a 6-2 7-6 third-round victory over Maria Elena Camerin at the Nasdaq-100 Open.

By contrast, Amelie Mauresmo made straightforward progress, defeating fellow Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli for the third time with a 6-4 6-0 win.

Top seed Mauresmo now plays 14th-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and Montenegro, who beat Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko 6-3 5-7 6-3.

Sharapova, debuting a new black corset-look top, advanced despite making 38 unforced errors against the Italian ranked 79th. She faced a battle in the second set, trailing 1-4 before salvaging victory in one hour, 44 minutes with a backhand winner yesterday.

She now faces fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko, who defeated Viktoriya Kutuzova of the Ukraine 6-1 6-4.

In the men's draw, third seed David Nalbandian of Argentina fought back to defeat Czech Tomas Berdych 6-7 6-1 6-0 to reach the fourth round.

Russian Nikolay Davydenko, seeded fifth, went through 2-6 6-2 7-5 against Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, the Australian Open runner-up finishing the contest with two double faults.

Nalbandian won his fourth match out of five since returning from a month out with an abdominal injury suffered during the Davis Cup in February.

The Argentine, who beat world number one Roger Federer in the final of the Masters Cup last November, improved his record this season to 10-2 after 20-year-old Berdych's game fell apart in the second and third sets.

Nalbandian, an Australian Open semi-finalist this year, broke his opponent's serve five times.

Croatian Mario Ancic advanced with a 7-6 6-7 6-2 triumph over Florent Serra of France. Czech Radek Stepanek, the 15th seed, defeated Nicolas Massu of Chile 6-7 7-6 7-5.

Reuters PDS VP0558

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