(Reuters) - A jubilant Dinara Safina added another chapter to her on-court renaissance by upsetting fourth-seeded Samantha Stosur 7-6 6-4 in the third round of the Indian Wells WTA tournament on Monday.
The Russian former world number one swept through the first set tiebreaker 7-2 and charged 4-2 up in the second before holding off a late fightback by the Australian.
Despite being broken twice herself in the second set and serving up a staggering total of 16 double faults in an error-strewn match, Safina held her nerve to seal victory in just under two hours at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Stosur, trailing 4-5 and 15-40 down on her own serve, struck an overhead smash long after a protracted rally to give an emotional Safina a place in the fourth round.
Safina, who has slipped to 108th in the rankings after being troubled by a back injury last year, will next meet compatriot Maria Sharapova, a 6-2 6-2 winner against 20th-seeded Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai.
Sharapova, who needed almost three hours on court to win her first match here against Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues, recovered from losing her opening service game to complete a commanding victory in 73 minutes.
Top seed Caroline Wozniacki finally found a way to beat Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez with a ruthless 6-1 6-3 demolition in the first match of the day on the showpiece stadium court.
Wozniacki, who had lost to the left-handed doubles specialist in their three previous meetings, broke her opponent four times to triumph in 72 minutes.
Injured Soderling exits, Nadal breezes through
(Reuters) - Swede Robin Soderling said he was stupid for playing with an injury on Monday after becoming the highest-seeded casualty at the Indian Wells ATP tournament where Rafa Nadal cruised into the fourth round. Soderling, the fourth seed and hottest player on the ATP Tour this year with three titles to his name, was hampered by his left foot before being eliminated 7-6 6-4 by German Philipp Kohlschreiber.