Sharapova and Kuznetsova win Indian Wells openers
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Maria Sharapova began her pursuit of a second BNP Paribas Open title with an easy victory and Svetlana Kuznetsova came back from a first-set whitewashing to win as the second round began and the seeded players joined the action Friday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Sharapova, who won the title in 2006 and lost to top-seeded Victoria Azarenka in last year's fiinal, was perfect 6-for-6 on break point against No. 47 Francesca Schiavone of Italy and wrapped up the 6-2, 6-1 victory when Schiavone double faulted.
A few minutes earlier, Kuznetsova had gotten her third service break of the match to finish off an 0-6, 6-2, 7-5 win over former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, the 18th seed.
Kuznetsova, a one-time No. 2 who missed much of last year with a right knee injury, got to match point on Jankovic's serve with an inside out forehand and closed out the match with a forehand down the line.
Meanwhile, the men's first round continued with American veteran James Blake overpowering Robin Haase of The Netherlands, 6-3, 6-4 to set up a second-round match against No. 8 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
Pablo Andujar of Spain outlasted Steve Johnson, a two-time NCAA champion at the University of Southern California, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4; Ivo Karlovic of Croatia served 12 aces in a 3-6, 7-6 (8), 6-2 win over Jack Sock of the U.S.; Nikolay Davydenko of Russia beat Paul-Henri Mathieu of France, 7-6 (1), 6-2; and Albert Ramos of Spain posted a 6-3, 6-3 win over Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, who recently beat Rafael Nadal in the final of a clay court event in Chile.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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