Sharapova marches on

Second seed Maria Sharapova was never troubled as she eased past Peng Shuai to reach the last 16 of the French Open.

Second seed Maria Sharapova was never troubled as she eased past Peng Shuai to reach the last 16 of the French Open.

The Russian won 6-2 6-1 and has dropped only five games in three matches so far, having beaten Alexandra Cadantu 6-0 6-0 and Ayumi Morita 6-1 6-1 in the previous rounds.

She will now take on Czech Klara Zakopalova, the conqueror of another seeded Russian in Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, for a place in the quarter-finals.

Sharapova made a perfect start today, converting her second break point in the opening game.

She won again on the Peng serve but the Chinese player immediately clawed back one of the breaks to trail 3-1.

That became 4-2 before an unplayable deep forehand set up the first of two break points for Sharapova as she moved within one game of winning the set at 5-2, then served out for the set.

Even Sharapova’s sometimes fragile serve was consistent, with a first-serve percentage of 61% through the match and only one double fault.

And she again broke at the first opportunity in the second set and led 4-0 before the 28th seed got a game on the board.

It was her only one, though, with Sharapova closing out a 66-minute victory with the minimum of fuss.

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