After winning the PNB Paribas Open last week, Maria Sharapova is aiming for a rare double when she lines at the Sony Open.
Only two players in WTA history have won back-to-back Indian Wells and Key Biscayne titles: Steffi Graf in 1994 and 1996, and Kim Clijsters in 2005.
Sharapova, who won her second BNP Paribas title with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Caroline Wo­zn­iacki on Sunday, isn’t scheduled to play until Friday at the Sony Open. All the seeded players in the men’s and women’s draw receive a first-round bye.
“These tournaments are always really tough because they’re close together,” the No. 3-seeded Sharapova said. “As soon as you’re done with the first one (Indian Wells) you’re onto the next one and you’re here. I’m looking forward to trying to take it a step further (here) this year.”
Sharapova came close to achieving the back-to-back victories in 2006, winning the Indian Wells tournament and rea­ching the final here. Overall, she’s been in four Sony Open finals, including last year when she lost to Ag­n­i­eszka Radw­anska of Poland.
Pennetta won her first-round match 6-4, 6-1 over Johanna Larsson of Sweden. Petkovic, playing in only her second tournament of the year following a knee injury at the Hopman Cup in January, defeated Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia 6-3, 6-1.
Pennetta, ranked 103rd, will meet Williams on Thursday in a second-round match at the $8.5 million event.
In other results, Ayumi Mo­rita of Japan defeated Heather Watson of Britain 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, Kristina Mladecnovic of France had a 7-5, 6-2 win over Aleks­andra Wozniak of Canada and Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan battled in the second-set tiebreaker to secure a 6-4, 7-6 (15) victory over Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine.