Originally posted on MyTeamRivals.com  |  Last updated 9/27/12
2010_australian_open_2eb0
Tennis: (Reuters) – Maria Sharapova pushed the envelope on ‘winning ugly’ as she squeaked past British qualifier Heather Watson 6-7 6-3 6-4 to reach the last 16 of the Pan Pacific Open on Tuesday. The French Open champion’s performance bordered on the farcical at times, carelessly frittering away three set points to surrender the initiative before pulling off an escape act. Li Na, last year’s Roland Garros winner, shrugged off a nasty cough to beat Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5 4-6 6-2 and reach the third round of the $2.16 million Tokyo event. Second seed Sharapova left herself with work to do after a string of double-faults and horror misses gift-wrapped the first set tiebreak to Watson 9-7. The errors continued to mount but the Russian, her squealing growing increasingly louder with the effort, did just enough to restore parity by winning the second set. A forehand miss gave Sharapova the break for 4-3 in the decider and the two-times Tokyo champion crawled over the line ...
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