Friday March 8, 2013
Sharapova next for Schiavone
INDIAN WELLS (California): Former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone defeated fellow Italian Flavia Pennetta 7-5, 6-1 on Wednesday to book a clash with second-seeded Maria Sharapova at the BNP Paribas Open.
Schiavone, the 2010 Roland Garros winner, improved to 5-2 against Pennetta, who has only recently returned from wrist surgery.
The all-Italian clash was among 16 first-round women’s matches on the opening day of the combined ATP Masters and WTA hard court tournament, in which the 32 men’s and 32 women’s seeds enjoy first-round byes.
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka is the top women’s seed.
The Australian Open champion from Belarus arrives at Indian Wells unbeaten in 14 matches this year .
Other former Indian Wells champions in the women’s field are former top-ranked players Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Serbians Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic. — AFP