Result: Maria Sharapova battles past Lucie Safarova

Maria Sharapova defeats Lucie Safarova 6-4 6-7(7) 6-2 in the third round of the Miami Masters.

Maria Sharapova has booked her place in the fourth round of the Miami Masters with a hard-fought victory over Lucie Safarova.

The 26-year-old former world number one got the better of her Czech opponent 6-4 6-7(7) 6-2 in the third round on Saturday.

Sharapova won the first set 6-4 with a convincing performance, but then struggled to maintain her momentum in the second.

The Russian was 4-1 down at one point, but staged a comeback to take it to a tie-break and earn herself two match points.

However, on both occasions the fourth seed failed to take advantage and was forced into a third and deciding set.

This time, though, Sharapova regained her rhythm, broke early and went on to wrap it up 6-2, taking a total of two hours and 56 minutes to win the match.

Maria Sharapova celebrates his win over Alize Cornet during their Australian Open third round match on January 18, 2014
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