Carson, August 10:

Maria Sharapova took the first step toward a JPMorgan Chase Open title and the No 1 ranking with a 7-6, 6-2 win over Maria Kirilenko in a second-round match. She can replace Lindsay Davenport as No 1 by reaching the semi-finals and beating opponents ranked highly enough to give her 28 bonus points. She earned eight on Tuesday.

Earlier, Varvara Lepchenko, a 19-year-old player from Uzbekistan, advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Silviaja Talaja of Croatia. Lepchenko got into the 56-player field as a “lucky loser” when Japan’s Ai Sugiyama withdrew. In other matches, Conchita Martinez was a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Mashona Washington; Czech Iveta Benesova beat India’s Sania Mirza 6-3, 1-6, 6-4; Eleni Daniilidou beat Maria Emilia Salerno 7-6, 7-5; Jill Craybas outlasted Virgia Ruano Pascual 6-0, 4-6, 6-3, and Shuai Peng beat Maria Vento-Kabchi 7-6, 6-0.

Rogers Cup

MONTREAL: Paul-Henri Mathieu’s 14th ace finished off third-seeded Andy Roddick 7-5, 6-3 in the first round of the Rogers Cup, which started with second-seeded Lleyton Hewitt retiring. Roddick was out-served and out-hustled by the Frenchman.

Hewitt quit against French Florent Serra while trailing 4-3 in the first set, weakened by a stomach ailment.

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal downed fellow Spaniard Carlos Moya 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 in 2 hours, 38 minutes.

In other upsets, former No 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain ousted seventh-seeded Guillermo Coria of Argentina 6-3, 6-2; American Taylor Dent rallied to defeat No 13 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, and Robin Soderling of Sweden surprised 14th-seeded Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4.