INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- It wasn't easy but two-time champion Lindsay Davenport advanced to the quarterfinals of the Pacific Life Open on Tuesday.
Only a 24th seed after returning from retirement and child birth last year, she defeated sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli 6-2, 7-5.
Fourth seed Sharapova, winner at Indian Wells Tennis Garden
in 2006, maintained her perfect start to the season but had to
work hard to beat Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
Sharapova, who won her third Grand Slam crown at the
Australian Open in January before claiming her 18th WTA title
in Doha, was relieved to win her 17th successive match this
The 20-year-old Russian came back from an error-prone
second set to break Bondarenko in the ninth game of the third
before sealing victory in just under three hours.
"I felt like I was pretty close to being down and out
because I wasn't able to produce good points for a long period
of time," world No. 5 Sharapova said.
"I would play a good game, I would get down again and then
I would miss three returns in a row. I was just giving her so
many opportunities out there.
"I wasn't playing my best tennis, far from it, but I was
just tough in the end and it gets me through a lot of matches."
Hantuchova held off a strong fightback by Mirza to wrap up
victory in one hour, 55 minutes and set up a quarterfinal with
"I thought it was a great match," the fifth-seeded
Slovakian said. "Sania is a great hitter and I was expecting a
really tough one today. Just being able to be in the quarters
without losing a set feels really great.
"I feel like I'm hitting the ball well again," added the
24-year-old, who claimed her first WTA career title at Indian
Wells in 2002. "I'm doing it the same way as last year so those
two are pretty good signs. We'll see what's going to happen."
Hantuchova, who beat Kuznetsova in last year's final, broke
Mirza in the second and fourth games to storm through the
opening set in 39 minutes.
After trading an early service break in the second set, the
elegant Slovakian broke again in the 11th game, when her
opponent double-faulted, to lead 6-5.
Although Hantuchova then lost her own serve, she clinched
the tiebreak 7-4, sealing victory with a crunching backhand
down the line.
In other matches, top-seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic came from a
set down to beat Italy's Francesca Schiavone 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 and
will next meet Russian Vera Zvonareva, a 6-7 (5), 6-0, 6-4 winner
over Australia's Casey Dellacqua.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.