KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. —
Her quarterfinal took place with the stadium half empty despite postcard weather. Attendance is down about 7 percent from last year, and promoters blame the absence of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
Sharapova struggled with both her first and second serves, and in the second set she lost eight consecutive service points. While she and Errani waged a series of long, entertaining baseline rallies, both were also prone to blowing easy shots.
Sharapova’s superior firepower proved the difference. Serving at 4-5 in the second set, she erased three set points and held. Two games later she endured one final double-fault, then hit winners on the last two points.
Errani, seeded No. 8, fell to 0-26 against opponents ranked in the top five. She’s 0-4 against Sharapova.