Sharapova in quarters

TOKYO: Former World No 1 Maria Sharapova continued her salvage operation at the Pan Pacific Open by screeching into the quarter-finals.

The Russian beat compatriot Alisa Kleybanova 2-6 6-2 6-2 to the relief of Tokyo organisers after a flood of early upsets at the $2 million event. Seventh seed Jelena Jankovic, the highest-ranked survivor, avoided the rush for the exit after Russian Elena Vesnina retired with a thigh strain while trailing 6-1 3-0.

Sharapova recovered from an error-strewn first set to reach the last eight of a tournament she won in 2005. The 22-year-old called coach Michael Joyce on the court for advice at the end of the set before storming through the second to level the match and turn the tide in her favour. Sharapova’s will face Czech Iveta Benesova, who knocked out Taiwanese Chang Kai-chen.

Jankovic next plays 14th seed Marion Bartoli after the Frenchwoman scored a 4-6 6-2 7-5 win over Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.