WTA Madrid Open: Maria Sharapova survives a scare to progress to third round
Maria Sharapova survived a scare before beating Christina McHale in three sets in the second round of the Madrid Open.
Last Updated: 06/05/14 5:49pm
The Russian easily took the first set 6-1 before her American opponent broke at 4-4 in the second set, which she went on to win 6-4.
Former world No.1 Sharapova then found herself 4-2 down in the decider, with McHale having a point to go 5-2 up.
But Sharapova rallied and won four games in a row to seal victory and progress through to the third round, where she will meet Sam Stosur, who defeated Spain's Garbine Muguruza 7-5 3-6 6-1.
"After a really good start I didn't keep that level. I didn't keep doing what I was doing. I think I had a bit of a let-down," said Sharapova, who made the final last year and is battling to hold on to her top-10 spot in the world rankings.
"She's a good competitor. She won't just give matches away. She works really hard out there, and I think she showed that today."
Second seed Li Na made much easier work of beating compatriot Jie Zheng 6-2 6-3 in an all-Chinese match.
However, she found herself 0-2 down in the second set before winning five games on the trot to set up her victory.
Na will next face American 16th seed Sloane Stephens, who needed three sets to see off the challenge of Czech opponent Petra Cetkovska 6-4 2-6 6-3.
Czech player Lucie Safarova also progressed with a 6-1 6-2 triumph over Magdalena Rybarikova, of Slovakia.