TOKYO — Two-time champion Maria Sharapova overpowered Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 7-6 (5) Wednesday to advance to the Pan Pacific Open quarterfinals.
The second-seeded Russian was coming off a tough, three-hour win over British qualifier Heather Watson on Tuesday, while Safarova advanced to the third round on a walkover.
Sharapova coasted through the first set and led 3-0 before Safarova mounted a comeback, breaking Sharapova three times to take a 6-5 lead.
Sharapova broke Safarova in the final game to force a tiebreaker, which she won with an ace after 1 hour, 43 minutes.
Sharapova will face Sam Stosur in the quarterfinals. The eighth-seeded Australian beat Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-4, 7-5.
In other matches, Sara Errani of Italy beat Marion Bartoli 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, while Nadia Petrova of Russia beat Petra Martic of Croatia 7-6 (2), 6-7 (1), 6-4.
After struggling in the first set, the sixth-seeded Errani broke Bartoli in the second game of the second set and never looked back.
"It was a tough match on this fast court," said Errani, who has won three titles this year. "I didn't start off well but neither did she. She got a little tired in the second set and that's when I started to play better." Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka was scheduled to face Roberta Vinci of Italy later Wednesday.
At Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nikolay Davydenko beat lucky loser Sanam Singh of India 7-5, 6-4 in the first round of the Malaysian Open.
Singh was playing only his third match in an ATP main draw, while Davydenko won the first Malaysian title in 2009 and has been ranked as high as No. 3. He blamed "mistakes in control" for struggling through the first set. The unseeded Davydenko lost his serve three times.
Fellow Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. defied a dozen aces and missing nine break points to beat British qualifier Dominic Inglot 7-5, 6-3 and set up a second-round match with top-seeded David Ferrer.
Colombian Alejandro Falla moved on after American Rajeev Ram pulled out with a hamstring injury while trailing 7-6 (4), 4-2, and Denis Istomin of Uzkebistan beat sixth-seeded Pablo Andujar of Spain 6-3, 6-2. American qualifier Michael Yani lost 6-3, 7-5 to Vasek Pospisil of Canada.
At Bangkok, Gael Monfils played another strong match in his return from a knee injury, beating South African qualifier Kevin Anderson 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 to reach the second round of the Thailand Open.
Monfils came back last week from nearly four months out with a right knee injury and reached the semifinals in Metz in his French homeland. On Wednesday, he blew a 3-1 lead in the third set. Anderson went ahead 5-4, but Monfils won the last three games to move on.
"I didn't play big tennis, just good enough to win. That's the good thing," Monfils said. "I need more time to be good and confident." Go Soeda of Japan beat local wild card Danai Udomchoke 6-4, 7-5 for a fourth straight time, and Ivo Karlovic of Croatia defeated Marinko Matosevic of Australia 6-3 6-4.