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Sharapova surges into fourth round

sports Updated: Jun 25, 2011 18:30 IST

AFP
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Former champion Maria Sharapova surged into the fourth round at Wimbledon with a 6-2, 6-3 win over unseeded Czech Klara Zakopalova on Saturday.

Sharapova, who won the title in 2004, has enjoyed an impressive start to her bid for a second Wimbledon crown and moved serenely into the second week of the Grand Slam without losing a set in her first three matches.

The Russian glamour girl, seeded fifth, will play either Peng Shuai or Melinda Czink in the last 16.

Sharapova, 24, has been a firm favourite of crowds here since, aged just 17, she shocked defending champion Serena Williams to become the third youngest woman to win Wimbledon.

In contrast, Zakopalova, who won her previous meeting with Sharapova at the Australian Open back in 2003, had only been past the third round of a Grand Slam once in 32 attempts and she lacked the grasscourt instincts to trouble the former world number one.

Sharapova made a slow start before seeing off British teenager Laura Robson in the previous round, but she was far more commanding against Zakopalova as she broke twice in the first four games of the opening set.

Another break at 5-2 sealed the first set in convincing style, but Sharapova made a rather more unfocused start to the second.

She was unable to convert two break points in the second game and then gifted a break to Zakopalova with some sloppy ground-strokes and a double-fault.

The prospect of dropping a set for the first time in the tournament stirred Sharapova back into life and she broke to level at 3-3.

Now fully re-engaged with the contest, Sharapova unleashed a pair of blistering returns to break again before serving out the match.

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