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Sharapova rallies back to beat McHale, avoid early exit at Madrid Open; Li Na into 3rd round

  • Spain Madrid Open Tennis-1.jpg

    Li Na from China returns the ball during a Madrid Open tennis tournament match against Jie Zheng from China, in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki) (The Associated Press)

  • 154b2f32c08e6311530f6a70670097af.jpg

    Li Na from China returns the ball during a Madrid Open tennis tournament match against Jie Zheng from China, in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki) (The Associated Press)

  • 1d2066b9c0976311530f6a706700a74c.jpg

    Jie Zheng from China serves during a Madrid Open tennis tournament match against Na Li from China, in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday May 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki) (The Associated Press)

  • Spain Madrid Open Tennis-4.jpg

    Li Na from China serves during a Madrid Open tennis tournament match against Jie Zheng from China, in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki) (The Associated Press)

Maria Sharapova avoided an early exit from the Madrid Open on Tuesday, rallying to beat Christina McHale to reach the third round.

Trailing 4-1 in the final set, Sharapova steadied her erratic service game and took command again to beat the 56th-ranked American 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory on clay at the Magic Box.

Earlier, Li Na continued her recent dominance of Zheng Jie by easing into the third round 6-2, 6-3 for her fourth straight victory against her fellow Chinese player. Zheng hasn't won a set from the second-ranked Li since her last victory in 2006.

Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic also advanced with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia.