Serena and Sharapova advance in Miami

Key Biscayne, FL ( - Six-time champion Serena Williams and 2013 runner-up Maria Sharapova were both third-round victors at the $5.4 million Sony Open.

Williams, the reigning U.S. and French Open titlist and world No. 1 great, snuck past promising Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, on the hardcourts of Crandon Park, where rain interrupted play on Saturday.

The 32-year-old Williams, who is now 11-2 overall in 2014, improved to 3-0 lifetime against the 20-year-old Garcia.

Sharapova was pushed to the limit, defeating Lucie Safarova 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, in a match that lasted just under three hours.

Williams, who is also a two-time runner-up at this lucrative event, defeated five-time Miami runner-up Sharapova in last year's marquee finale in South Florida.

Meanwhile, fifth-seeded German Angelique Kerber moved on by pasting capable Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 6-0, 6-2; eighth-seeded former Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova handled Croatian qualifier Donna Vekic 6-3, 6-4; 23rd-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova upended ninth-seeded Italian Sara Errani 6-3, 2-6, 6-4; American Coco Vandeweghe defeated Australia's Samantha Stosur 5-7, 7-5, 7-5; and 12th-seeded former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia cooled off last week's surprise Indian Wells champion, 20th-seeded Italian veteran Flavia Pennetta, 6-4, 6-3.

Fourteenth-seeded German Sabine Lisicki pulled out of the draw on Saturday, thus giving 19th-seeded Belgian Kirsten Flipkens a walkover into the fourth round. Lisicki was last year's Wimbledon runner-up.

The 2014 Miami champ will collect $787,000.