-- MELBOURNE, Australia -- No. 2-ranked Maria Sharapova saved two match points in a narrow escape against No. 150-ranked Alexandra Panova on Wednesday at the Australian Open, advancing to the third round with a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 win.
Sharapova made 51 unforced errors as she went for the lines, saving some of her high-risk winners for when she needed them most in the 10th game of the third set when Panova, who had to come through qualifying and had only one win at a major tournament, was serving for the match.
"I was one point away twice today from going out of the tournament. She played a pretty inspired match," Sharapova said.
In early women's second-round matches, No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova beat Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-4; No. 21 Peng Shuai had a 6-1, 6-1 win over Magdalena Rybarikova; and Carina Witthoeft beat Christina McHale 6-3, 6-0.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.