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Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams win in Florida

Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams win in Florida
Maria Sharapova hits a return to Lucie Safarova in the third round of the Sony Open in Key Biscayne Fla., on Saturday. (Andrew Uloza / Miami Herald / MCT)

One point from victory, Maria Sharapova chased after a shot in the corner but couldn't reach it, so she had to keep playing.

Nearly an hour later she was still at it, trying to win that elusive clinching point against stubborn Lucie Safarova.

Sharapova needed nine match points before she finally closed out a win Saturday night in the third round of the Sony Open at Key Biscayne, Fla., beating Safarova, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-2.

Top-ranked Serena Williams won a marathon, too, taking 21/2 hours to eliminate Caroline Garcia, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Three-time champion Novak Djokovic was off Saturday but advanced to the fourth round anyway when his next scheduled opponent, Florian Mayer, withdrew because of a groin injury.

No. 10-seeded John Isner rallied to win an all-American matchup against Donald Young, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4. Isner is back in the top 10 this week for the first time in 18 months.

Sam Querrey, Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock lost second-round matches. That left Isner as the lone remaining American in the men's draw, reflecting the state of U.S. tennis.

"The state is not the greatest it has ever been," Isner said.

Stanislas Wawrinka bounced back from his first loss of the year by beating Daniel Gimeno-Traver, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3. No. 7 Tomas Berdych joined Wawrinka in the third round by beating Stephane Robert, 7-6 (5), 6-1.

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