INDIAN WELLS, Calif. Roger Federer needed just 53 minutes to end his third-round match, and Maria Sharapova extended her perfect start to the year by winning her 17th consecutive match on Tuesday in the Pacific Life Open.
Three-time Indian Wells champion Federer, continuing to show strong signs that he's completely recovered from the mononucleosis that hindered him earlier in the season, breezed to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Nicolas Mahut in their third-round match.
Sharapova, whose streak includes triumphs in the Australian Open and at Doha, outlasted Alona Bondarenko 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 to move into the women's quarterfinals. The 2006 tournament champion, Sharapova seemed to put added zip on her serves and groundstrokes after Bondarenko went up 4-3 in the third set.
Sharapova won the final three games, losing just one point in each of the last two.
Federer, ranked No. 1 for the fifth consecutive year, seemed to be losing his aura of invincibility earlier this season, losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinals, then to Andy Murray in the opening round at Dubai.
It's the first time in eight years that the 26-year-old Swiss star has gone as long as two months into the season without winning an ATP title.
He opened at Indian Wells with an efficient 6-3, 6-2 victory over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, then seemed to shift his game into high gear as he overwhelmed Mahut. Federer had nine aces and won 96 percent of his first serves, Mahut had no aces and won 47 percent of his first serves; Federer hit 26 winners to the Frenchman's seven.
"It was a perfect match, really, for me," Federer said. "Just overall excited being back, happy to be playing well. I'm more sure I'm over the sickness."
Other winners in the men's third round included Ivan Ljubicic, 6-3, 6-4 over Tommy Robredo; and David Nalbandian, 7-6 (1), 0-6, 7-6 (6) over Radek Stepanek.
Defending women's champion Daniela Hantuchova, who also won the event in 2002, defeated Sania Mirza 6-1, 7-6 (4), and Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-3.