Sharapova powers into French Open last 16
Maria Sharapova swept into the last 16 at Roland Garros with a 6-2 6-1 annihilation of the sixth seed Karolina Pliskova. Sharapova wrapped up the win in 59 minutes.
The severity of the scoreline belied their world rankings. While Sharapova has slipped down the lists due to injuries and an 18 month ban for doping, Pliskova has – with a fearsome serve - become one of the forces on the women’s tour.
But Sharapova – playing on the centre court for the first time in three years – rolled back the clock to pulverize the hapless Czech.
"I knew I had to play well against a tough opponent,” said the Russian. “The return of serve was a big part of getting in the point and not giving her too many free points and giving her confidence from the baseline after that.
“I thought I did a really good job of being aggressive on the return and I was solid. I played smart. I think I did the right things, I was aggressive on the break points, I went for it.”
Sharapova is seeking her third French Open crown after wins in 2012 and 2014. She will play Serena Williams or Julia Goerges for a place in the last eight.