Azarenka and Sharapova breeze through at Indian Wells
Indian Wells: World number one Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova stayed on track for a mouth-watering showdown in the final of the Indian Wells WTA tournament when they coasted into the last eight on Tuesday.
Top-seeded Belarusian Azarenka completed a ruthless 6-3 6-1 demolition of Germany`s Julia Goerges before Russia`s second seed Sharapova swept past Italy`s Roberta Vinci 6-2 6-1.
In dazzling afternoon sunshine, Azarenka broke Goerges three times in each set before sealing victory with an ace to end the match in just over an hour on the showpiece stadium court.
The pony-tailed Belarusian, who won her first grand slam crown at the Australian Open in January, is 20-0 this year and will next meet fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.
Radwanska, who won her eighth WTA title in Doha last month, advanced when American wild card Jamie Hampton retired hurt with cramp when trailing 6-3 4-6 3-0.
"I take it day by day and after that we will see what happens," Azarenka told reporters of her perfect start to the season. "I have to keep my focus on every moment, every day."
The 22-year-old, who has launched her 2012 campaign with three WTA titles, said complacency was not in her vocabulary and that she always strived to improve her performance.
"I always try to work on different things because I think there is never really a limit to what you can achieve," Azarenka added. "You can always try to do better. It may not work right away, but at least you can start the process."
Asked what had been the most improved department of her game this year, she replied: "The thing that really stands out is my physical condition, and I`m pleased with that. But I feel like there is so much more room to improve."
Sharapova, who had needed five match points to beat Romania`s Simona Halep in the previous round, stepped up a few gears against Vinci, breaking her six times before completing victory in just over an hour.
Radwanska, who reached the quarter-finals for a third time at Indian Wells, applauded Hampton`s effort before cramping ended their match prematurely.
"She was playing very good today and I was really in trouble in the second set," the 23-year-old said. "She was really hitting the ball very well and moving very well."
"I just noticed when she fell down. It was obvious that she was cramping and it`s always tough when you can`t really have a medical timeout for that and you`re losing points or games like today.
"When somebody is losing two or three games, it`s really a lot. It`s tough to come back."
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was scheduled to play Serb Ana Ivanovic in an evening match on Tuesday.