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Sharapova advances at Pan Pacific Open

Top-seeded Maria Sharapova cruised past American Lisa Raymond 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday to join to Martina Hingis in the Pan Pacific Open quarterfinals.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 19:01 IST

Top-seeded Maria Sharapova cruised past American Lisa Raymond 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday to join to Martina Hingis in the Pan Pacific Open quarterfinals.

Sharapova, who opened her title defense on Thursday after a first-round bye, will next face Samantha Stosur of Australia, who defeated sixth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova 7-6 (7/5), 6-2. "I had a bye and she had already played a few matches," said Sharapova. "I've never really played well in my first match here. She's a great player, but I broke her when I needed to and that helped."

The Russian was down 3-1 in the first set at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium but turned it around when she broke Raymond's serve to draw level at 4-4.

"The court here is a lot faster than in Australia," said Sharapova, who was eliminated in the semifinals of the Australian Open. "Moving-wise, it's hard to get used to on the first day." Also advancing is fourth-seeded Anastasia Myskina of Russia, who defeated the Czech Republic's Klara Koukalova 6-4, 6-4.

First Published: Feb 02, 2006 19:01 IST