Li, Sharapova win Indian Wells opener

    6:50 AM, Mar 9, 2014   |    comments
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    Indian Wells, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Top seed Li Na was among the second- round winners Saturday at the $5.9 million BNP Paribas Open tennis event at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

    The Chinese star and reigning Australian Open champion beat countrywoman Zheng Jie 6-1, 7-5. Li is making her seventh appearance at this lucrative hardcourt tournament, with her best result being a semifinal berth in 2007.

    Up next for Li will be Karolina Pliskova, who took out fellow Czech Klara Zakopalova, the 28th seed, 7-5, 6-2.

    Fourth-seeded Maria Sharapova defeated Julia Goerges 6-1, 6-4 and will face Camila Giorgi, who beat 25th-seeded Sorana Cirstea 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.

    Meanwhile, eighth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova defeated American wild card Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-3 and 11th-seeded Serbian Ana Ivanovic rallied to beat Ukraine's Elina Svitolina 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-1).

    Twelfth-seeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, 21st-seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and 27th-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova also advanced.

    American Sloane Stephens made quick work of Croat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4, 6-0 and will face Ivanovic in the next round. Spaniard Maria Teresa Torro Flor upset fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

    Also advancing were Russian Alisa Kleybanova, 16th-seeded Samantha Stosur, Italian Flavia Pennetta, Russian Ekaterina Makarova and Pole Aleksandra Wozniak.

    The Sports Network

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