Watson keeps Sharapova on court for more than three hours, but loses

World No.78 Heather Watson came through qualifying, upset Sabine Lisicki 6-4 7-6(3) in the first round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open and came very close to upsetting the 2009 champion Maria Sharapova in the second round, but the second-seeded Russian overcame 67 unforced errors and 14 double faults to win 6-7(7) 6-3 6-4 in three hours and nine minutes. The previous meeting of the two, last year at the US Open, was also a three-setter.

The exhausting match featured 14 breaks of serve. In the marathon first set, Watson came from a break down twice, while even in the tiebreak she was down, 3-0, and saved set points.

Sharapova holds the Tokyo tournament close to her heart since it was her first title in her resurgent year after shoulder injury. In the third round she will face tricky seed No.16 Lucie Safarova, who received a walkover when Klara Zakopalova withdrew with a left wrist injury. (via: BBC, photo: © Neal Trousdale)

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