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Top seed Sharapova stretched by Daniilidou in Linz

Written by: Staff
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LINZ, Austria, Oct 26 (Reuters) Maria Sharapova withstood a strong first set from Greek qualifier Eleni Daniilidou before moving into the quarter-finals of the Linz Open with a 7-5 6-1 victory today.

The top-seeded Russian, who will move above Justine enin-Hardenne to take the number two ranking if she reaches Sunday's final, showed little patience and made several careless errors against an enterprising opponent.

Daniilidou earned two break points to lead 4-2 but Sharapova held them off and then won a break to go 6-5 in front with a crosscourt backhand winner.

Sharapova had to survive another break point, saved with a backhand winner, before clinching the set with her seventh ace.

The Russian broke Daniilidou from 40-0 to lead 1-0 in the second set and her opponent then called for medical attention for dizziness and a headache.

Having won five consecutive points, Sharapova then took six more before Daniilidou began to compete again.

But her challenge was muted and Sharapova broke to lead 4-1 with a winning return, and again for the match when a Daniilidou backhand volley fell wide.

Sharapova will next play fifth-seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic, who defeated Polish qualifier Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-2.

Ivanovic made a tentative start, allowing Radwanska to hold to love and then having to fend off three break points before she held for 1-1.

But then she snapped into gear, breaking for 2-1 with a blistering return, and after holding off a break point for 3-3 with her fourth ace of the match she broke again for 5-2.

Although Ivanovic was broken twice in the second set, Radwanska failed to hold her serve at all.

Sixth-seeded Serb Jelena Jankovic also advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-7 6-4 6-2 win over Russian qualifier Elena Vesnina.

REUTERS PB KP2349

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