Updated: Thursday, 24 April 2014 22:40 | By Agence France-Presse

Sharapova into last eight in Stuttgart WTA

Maria Sharapova reached the last eight of the Stuttgart WTA tournament on Thursday with a convincing 6-4, 6-3 win over fellow-Russian Anastasia Pavlychenkova.

Sharapova into last eight in Stuttgart WTA

Russia's Maria Sharapova returns the ball to Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in their match at the WTA Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on April 24, 2014. Sharapova won 6-4, 6-3. - by Thomas Kienzle

It was in stark contrast to her struggles of the previous day when she needed three tie-breaks and almost three-and-a-half hours to defeat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in a first round tie.

Seeded sixth this year, Sharapova is aiming for a third straight title on the red clay of Stuttgart as the preparations for the French Open get fully underway.

The four-time Grand Slam champion looked solid enough on serve, with just five double-faults to eight by her opponent and she had Pavlychenkova under constant pressure with her booming returns.

Her opponent in the quarter-finals will be Polish top seed Agnieszka Radwanska who proved too good for Italan doubles specialist Roberta Vinci, winning 6-3, 6-2.

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