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Sharapova sails into third round at French Open

The Russian fourth seed booked her place with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Czech Republic's Iveta Benesova.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2006 17:56 IST

Russian fourth seed Maria Sharapova booked her place in the French Open third round on Wednesday with a 6-4, 6-1 win overCzech Republic's Iveta Benesova.

Sharapova now takes on either Australia's Alicia Molik or Anda Perianu of Romania for a place in the fourth round.

Sharapova, the Wimbledon champion in 2004, came into Roland Garros having not played a clay court match all season after an eight-week spell on the sidelines nursing a painful and swollen right ankle.

She had to endure two rain interruptions on a damp and chilly Phillipe Chatrier Court before wrapping up a win which was decidedly more comfortable than her first round, three-set marathon against Msona Washington.

The Russian enjoyed the crucial break of nerve in the fifth game of the first set to create the platform for her first set success.

She then raced through the second picking up three more breaks on the way and took the match with a deep, thumping forehand after 78 minutes of action.

First Published: Jun 01, 2006 11:11 IST