Maria Sharapova (right) and Kurumi Nara (left) shake hands after their match on day four of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center
In the women's singles second round of the ATP and Miami Masters, Maria Sharapova battled to push to the third round, after a tough victory against Kurumi Nara of Japan by 6-3, 6-4.
Right from the start of the game, Kurumi showed positive outlook leading by 1-3 in the first set. Sharapova however got back in groove to finally take away the match in her favor.
She said, "She made me work extremely hard."
"She's a really quick opponent, got a lot of balls back, and she made me hit a lot. She made me try to do too much in certain situations."
"Sometimes I felt like I was doing the right mistakes and sometimes I felt like I should have been more patient, but I guess those are the situations you want to build that match confidence again."
Four-time Grand Slam winner Sharapova will now meet Lucie Safarova of Czechoslovakia who said, "I still feel like a work in progress."
"That match strength, when you're deep into the match and just in the later stages of matches, I think that's the thing that's hurt me in these last couple of months."
"But I've got to work through that. Nothing's just going to come to me. It's a challenge I have ahead of me, and I have to face it."
Serena Williams waves to the crowd after her match against Yaroslava Shvedova (not pictured) on day four of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center
On the other match, top-seeded defending champion Serena Williams survived a fatal blow after defeating Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan by 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 to move into the third round of Miami Masters.
She will now face Caroline Garcia of France.
Williams said, "The first set was really tough. She can make you play. She was hitting the ball well."
"I had to relax and try to keep my intensity and just try to get the win."
She also added, "I'm just happy for another win..."