Kuznetsova sent packing

Tennis : Sharapova in quarters; 50th win for Nadal

Kuznetsova sent packing

 Former world number one Maria Sharapova eased past fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-1 on Thursday to reach the Stuttgart Grand Prix quarterfinals and continue her winning comeback from a 15-month doping ban.

The 30-year-old Russian returned to action on Wednesday with a straight sets win over Roberta Vinci following her suspension for the use of banned substance meldonium.

 “I settled down a bit (compared to Wednesday). I executed a great plan today and I was really glad I pulled that off,” Sharapova told reporters.

 Sharapova picked up where she had left off against Vinci, powering through her first two service games without dropping a point but struggling somewhat with her return consistency.

 Makarova wasted her only break opportunity at 5-5 and Sharapova never looked back in the first set
She broke Makarova twice in the second set to race 5-1 ahead and served out the match with an ace to set up a quarter-final clash against Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit

Nadal through

In Barcelona. third seed Rafael Nadal remains on course for a tenth Barcelona Open title, advancing to the quarterfinals with a routine 6-3, 6-4 victory over Kevin Anderson.

It was Nadal's 50th victory at the tournament he has won nine times and the Mallorcan never looked in danger against the world number 66, forcing ten break points throughout the match.

Veteran Nadal  takes on either Alexander Zverev or Hyeon Chung in the last eight clash on Friday.
 British number two Dan Evans' campaign came to an end at the hands of Austria's Dominic Thiem 7-6, 6-2 who will face Yuichi Sugita in the quarters after the Japanese knocked out home favourite Pablo Carreno Busta.

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