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Maria Sharapova gains quarters

Updated: September 26, 2012, 6:23 AM ET
Associated Press

TOKYO -- Two-time champion Maria Sharapova overpowered Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 7-6 (5) Wednesday to advance to the Pan Pacific Open quarterfinals.

The second-seeded Russian was coming off a tough, three-hour win over British qualifier Heather Watson on Tuesday, while Safarova advanced to the third round on a walkover.

Sharapova coasted through the first set and led 3-0 before Safarova mounted a comeback, breaking Sharapova three times to take a 6-5 lead.

Sharapova ...

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