Injured Pierce taken to hospital; Sharapova cruises
LINZ, Austria -- Mary Pierce was carried off the court on a stretcher and taken to a hospital after hurting her left knee in a fall while on the brink of defeating Vera Zvonareva in the Generali Ladies tournament Thursday.
Pierce led Zvonareva 6-4, 6-5 and held three match points when she fell behind the baseline. As Pierce clutched her knee, Zvonareva rushed to her side with ice.
The two-time Grand Slam champion from France has played only eight events this year because of right foot injuries.
Earlier, U.S. Open champion Maria Sharapova reached the quarterfinals for the 13th time in 14 tournaments this year, beating Greece's Eleni Daniilidou 7-5, 6-1.
"I have played so much tennis lately that I felt a bit exhausted at the start of the match," Sharapova said. "But I settled down well after the first set."
Sharapova, who failed to reach the quarterfinals only at the French Open, will play fifth-seeded Ana Ivanovic in the next round.
In the quarterfinals, Zvonareva will meet third-seeded Patty Schnyder, who rallied to beat wild card Nathalie Dechy of France 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-3.
Schnyder, last year's runner-up, led 5-2 before losing the first set. In the second and third she converted all four of her break points.
Serbia's Ivanovic beat Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-2, and Samantha Stosur of Australia ousted Kremlin Cup winner, seventh-seeded Anna Chakvetadze, 6-4, 6-4. Stosur will face defending champion Nadia Petrova.
Sixth-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia beat Elena Vesnina of Russia 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2 to set up a quarterfinal match against fourth-seeded Nicole Vaidisova on Friday.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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