KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) — Maria Sharapova was happy to play an 11 a.m. match Monday, especially when her work day was already done by the time a mid-afternoon shower interrupted play.
Sharapova started early but didn’t start well. She won only five points in the first four games before settling down to reach the quarterfinals at the Sony Open by beating Kirsten Flipkens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
The world’s top-ranked players had an easier time. Serena Williams eliminated fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-1. Rafael Nadal received a warning for slow play and still won in 59 minutes against Denis Istomin, 6-1, 6-0.
No. 10 seed John Isner, the only American to reach the men’s third round, hit 17 aces and beat Nicolas Almagro 7-5, 6-3. No. 29 Venus Williams lost her serve eight times and was beaten by No. 10 Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 5-7, 6-3.