KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. —
But she won — and was ready to leave Crandon Park before most matches had even begun. With the rest of the day free, what was on the schedule for one of the world’s most celebrated athletes?
“Not much, actually,” Sharapova said. “I like to have my afternoon tea around 5. It’s like a Russian tradition. I’ll see my dog, spend some time with him, then get treatment, dinner, and then the day is over.”
At the top of her to-do list for the rest of the week is winning her first Key Biscayne title. Sharapova has been the runner-up five times, including each of the past three years, but she downplays any frustration regarding her many near-misses.
“Of course you want to be able to hold the winner’s trophy,” she said. “But you also remember the matches that you got through to get in the position to get to the final stage. It’s not like I didn’t have my opportunities in those finals; I just didn’t take them. That’s why you come back and hope for another chance.”
Williams seems to be gaining momentum as the tournament unfolds, as usual. She overcame sloppy patches in her first two matches and committed only one unforced error in the second set against Vandeweghe.
But Williams was impressed with the 22-year-old American, and told her so when they met at the net after the match.
“She said, ‘Listen, you played so well. We’ve got to play doubles. We’d do so well,”’ Vandeweghe said.
Williams’ opponent Tuesday night will be No. 5-seeded Angelique Kerber, who beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. No. 8 Petra Kvitova rallied past No. 12 Ana Ivanovic, who double-faulted nine times in the final two sets and lost 3-6, 6-0, 6-0.
In other men’s third-round play, No. 22-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov rallied from a break down in the final set to beat Dusan Lajovic 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (5). Dolgopolov has gone 6-1 this month despite his worries about unrest in his native Ukraine, where his mother and other relatives still live.