Maria Sharapova pleased despite nervy start at Stuttgart

Maria Sharapova was made to toil for her 100th win on clay court as she overcame Lucie Safarova 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 to enter the second round of Stuttgart WTA tournament.

updated: April 23, 2014 18:11 IST
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Stuttgart, Germany: Defending champion Maria Sharapova admits she had a tough opening in her bid to win a third straight Stuttgart WTA tournament title after her three-sets win over Lucie Safarova.

Sharapova, who has never lost on her two appearances in Stuttgart after winning the 2012 and 2013 titles, will face Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Thursday's last-16 tie after beating Czech Republic's Safarova 7-6(7/5), 6-7(5/7), 7-6 (7/2) late on Tuesday.

Sharapova had to dig deep having been just two points away from defeat when Safarova levelled at 30-all with the scores at 6-5 in the decisive third set.

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