Maria Sharapova survives match

STUTTGART, Germany -- Top-seeded Maria Sharapova needed three sets and more than three hours Thursday in her clay-court season debut to overcome Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic for a place in the Porsche Grand Prix quarterfinals.

Sharapova, the defending champion, won 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3 in a match that lasted 3 hours, 9 minutes.

The Russian saved two set points in the second set before surrendering the tiebreaker, in which she had one of her eight double-faults. She also had eight aces.

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