Sharapova and Li advance to Porsche quarterfinals

  • Top-seeded and reigning champion Maria Sharapova and second-seeded Australian Open runner-up Li Na were among the second-round winners at the $795,000 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Thursday.

    The former world number one and current French Open champ Sharapova beat Czech Lucie Safarova 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3.

    Meanwhile, former Roland Garros titlist Li fought off Croatian qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-1, 6-2 on the red clay at the Porsche Arena.

    Porsche global brand ambassador Sharapova defeated Victoria Azarenka in last year's final in Stuttgart.

    The Russian will meet fellow former number one Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in the quarterfinals later today.

    Li will face fifth-seeded former Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova, who posted a 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 victory over German Julia Goerges, the 2011 Stuttgart champion.