Miami: World number one Serena Williams and Russian star Maria Sharapova each battled through three sets on Saturday to advance into the fourth round at the ATP and WTA Miami Masters. Defending champion Williams and last year's runner-up Sharapova struggled mightily to survive, with five-time finalist Maria Sharapova requiring nine match point to book her win.
Sharapova beat Czech Lucie Safarova 6-4, 6-7 (7/5), 6-2 in a battle which took five minutes short of three hours to complete. Sharapova let out a scream of relief when she finally went through as Safarova's shot hit the net, Sharapova having missed two chances in the second set to wrap it up early.
"She was just hitting unbelievable shots on the match points," said Sharapova. "I kept asking myself how many more chances I had.