Maria Sharapova kicks into form at US Open
Maria Sharapova put behind her the problems of the first round as she cruised into round three of the US Open with a 6-1 6-1 victory over Anastasiya Yakimova on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The third seed had needed more than two and a half hours to see off Britain's Heather Watson on Monday, dropping the first set and looking in real danger of defeat.
The very first game tonight saw Sharapova having to battle back from 0-40 against Belarusian Yakimova but, having done that, the 24-year-old did not look back.
At 5ft 5in, Yakimova is nine inches shorter than Sharapova and simply did not have the weapons to hurt her opponent, managing only two winners to the third seed's 28.
Having had game points in the first three games without winning any of them, world number 84 Yakimova finally got on the board in game four, but Sharapova was ultra-solid, particularly on her forehand, and she wrapped up victory in 70 minutes.
The 2006 champion is likely to face a tougher time in the third round against 26th seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy, a two-time quarter-finalist at Flushing Meadows.
Sharapova was happy with the way she upped her level from the Watson match.
She said: "I played a pretty tricky opponent tonight who didn't play the typical kind of tennis. She sliced a lot, a lot of high balls. Maybe the first couple of games I was a little bit impatient.
"Then I got really steady. I was aggressive. I still felt like I could have moved in a little bit more, but overall I played solid and much better than the first one."
The Russian, meanwhile, offered her support to Venus Williams following her announcement that she is suffering from the auto-immune disease Sjogren's Syndrome.
Sharapova added: "I don't think either one of us really knows how serious it is. Hopefully it is not. I hope that it's not obviously the end of her career.
"I still feel like, although she's a bit older, she's still one of the fittest players on tour and one of the most dangerous when she's playing well. It's obviously tough in sport. I always mention how important health is."
Andy Murray tells how coach Amélie Mauresmo revealed her pregnancy
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Everton 3 Manchester United 0 player ratings: Who scored lower - Marouane Fellaini or Radamel Falcao?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove