Sharapova loses match, No. 1; Roddick wins

Updated: March 14, 2007, 2:11 AM ET
Associated Press

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Defending champion Maria Sharapova was knocked out of the Pacific Life Open on Tuesday with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 loss to Vera Zvonareva that will cost her the No. 1 ranking.

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Andy Roddick, the lone American left in the tournament, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory over Richard Gasquet of France. Roddick's game was particularly sharp in the second set, with his serves, groundstrokes and volleys all clicking.

Roddick finished the match with a 133 mph serve down the center stripe for his 15th ace.

Sharapova was beaten in the fourth round and needed to reach the Indian Wells semifinals to remain No. 1. She will be supplanted by Justine Henin when the rankings are released Monday. Henin, who is not at this tournament, won two recent events in the Middle East.

The 19-year-old Sharapova was playing her first event since withdrawing from her semifinal at Tokyo last month with a strained left hamstring.

She struggled in a match between Russians. The 22-year-old Zvonareva, ranked No. 20, won for third time in seven matches against Sharapova.

Sharapova had 13 double-faults and 47 unforced errors. She was up 5-3 in the second set and serving for the match when Zvonareva suddenly took control, winning eight consecutive games and 10 of the final 11.

Frequently looking off-balance while serving, Sharapova bounced her second serve into the net on one of her two double-faults in losing the sixth game of the third set.

The men's side of the tournament lost its No. 1 player Sunday when Guillermo Canas upset Roger Federer 7-5, 6-2 to end the Swiss star's 41-match winning streak.

Sharapova said she got a bit deflated when she couldn't close out the match against Zvonareva and, "She just started swinging and wasn't making a lot of errors."

Asked about the problems with her serves, Sharapova said, "Yeah, there were a lot of wrong things going on today. That was just one of them, especially in the third set. But it was more of a snowball effect than anything else."

Zvonareva said: "I was concentrating on every point, trying to get the rhythm, trying to get my game together and I was just fighting for every point. I think that's why I was able to turn it around."

Daniela Hantuchova beat Martina Hingis 6-4, 6-3 in a rematch of their 2002 Indian Wells final, won by Hantuchova in straight sets. Svetlana Kuznetsova advanced with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Ai Sugiyama.

No. 17 Li Na of China defeated No. 9 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-3, 7-6 (1) to move into the quarterfinals. Her country's highest-ranked player ever and a tour event winner in 2004, Li next faces Zvonareva.

Tatiana Golovin advanced when No. 7 Nadia Petrova retired because of heat exhaustion after losing the first set 6-2 and dropping the first game of the second.

Ivan Ljubicic, who lost to Federer in the Indian Wells quarterfinals last year after the Swiss star beat him in the fourth round in 2005, reached the quarterfinals again this time, defeating David Nalbandian 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

No. 2 Rafael Nadal rolled to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero in another fourth-round match.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press