Wimbledon 2015: Maria Sharapova breezes through to remain on course for second title

The Russian beat Richel Hogenkamp 6-3 6-1

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The Independent Online

It always comes as a surprise to be reminded that Maria Sharapova has only one Wimbledon title to her name in a 12-year career that has earned her some £22 million. That was in 2004 as a 17 year-old, when it seemed inconceivable that there would be no more of them 11 years on.

She is due to meet up with Serena Williams in the semi-final this time and if that is the case will almost certainly have had a tougher test or two than the Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp was able to provide before going down 6-3 6-1 in 65 minutes.  Sharapova was not at her best, serving eight double faults apart from anything else, but still coming through comfortably while conceding four games, the same as in her opening round against Britain's Jo Konta.

Hogenkamp, 23 years old and ranked No 123, only made her Grand Slam debut this year, in Australia. She was drawn against Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova there and after winning a first round match here to follow four wins in qualifying again found herself up against vastly superior opposition.

Her one hope might have been to use her recent experience on grass to good advantage against an opponent who had not played a grass court tournament in the build-up; in fact had not played at all between the French Open, where she felt below par, and this Wimbledon.

But the first set was over in half an hour and in the second Hogenkamp, tiring visibly, soon went 4-0 down. Facing a break point for 5-0 she escaped with a brave drop-shot, but double-faulted at 5-1 to have three match points against her and was beaten by a crashing Sharapova forehand.

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