Seed No.18 Zheng Jie overcame tenth seed Maria Sharapova 6-3 2-6 6-3 after two hours and 43 minutes of topsy-turvy marathon in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.
Sharapova made 14 double faults, 62 unforced errors and was broken seven times during the match. Zheng broke Sharapova’s serve three times in the first set, then the Russian leveled after the second set which lasted one hour and eight minutes, and finally, Zheng came back from 3-1 down in the decider to win the match.
“She’s like a ball machine. She hits a lot of balls back, hits them hard and deep. I should have done a much better job on her serve because that is definitely one of her weaker parts of the game,” said the world No.13 Sharapova, who received treatment for her right elbow during the match.
The 26-year-old Chinese, a surprise semifinalist at this year’s Australian Open, will next play Australian wildcard Alicia Molik.