Indian Wells, CA – Last year's runner-up Maria Sharapova secured a berth in the quarterfinals at the $5.186 million BNP Paribas Open.
The second-seeded former world No. 1, who captured the Indian Wells title back in 2006, handled Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino 7-5, 6-0 in 78 minutes on a hot day at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Sharapova popped five aces and broke her Spanish counterpart six times on Day 7.
The French Open champion Sharapova lost to Australian Open champ and fellow former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in last year's Indian Wells finale.
Sharapova's quarterfinal opponent will be gritty Italian Sara Errani, which will mark a rematch of last year's French Open final, won by the tall Russian.
Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 win over Urszula Radwanska, 13th-seeded Maria Kirilenko upset third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 and eighth-seeded Carolina Wozniaki was a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 victor over 10th- seeded Nadia Petrova. The former world No. 1 Wozniacki titled here in 2011 and was the runner-up in 2010.
Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Czech slugger Petra Kvitova whipped 19th-seeded compatriot Klara Zakopalova 6-2, 6-3 and a sixth-seeded Errani whipped ninth- seeded 2011 Indian Wells finalist Marion Bartoli of France 6-3, 6-2. The former Wimbledon champion Kvitova titled in Dubai last month, while the hot Errani was a titlist in Acapulco two weeks ago.
In other scores, No. 4 seed Angelique Kerber downed Garbine Muguruza 6-4, 7-5, No. 7 seed Samantha Stosur took out 24th-seeded Mona Barthel, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
This Premier Mandatory WTA event will pay its newest champion $1 million.