Sharapova shifts up a gear to reach third round

Updated: 2011-09-01 14:41


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Sharapova shifts up a gear to reach third round
Maria Sharapova of Russia runs to return a shot against Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus during their match at the US Open tennis tournament in New York Aug 31, 2011. [Photo/Agencies] 

NEW YORK - Maria Sharapova shifted into a higher gear on Wednesday as she overwhelmed unseeded Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus with the loss of just two games to surge into the third round of the US Open.

Sharapova, who battled through a tough three-setter against Briton Heather Watson in her opening match, was sharper with her groundstrokes and steadier with her serve in the 70-minute 6-1 6-1 rout.

The third-seeded Russian and 2006 champion hit 35 less unforced errors than her wayward first round, while winning points on 14 of 16 forays to the net.

Next up for Sharapova will be 26th seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy, a straight-sets winner over compatriot Romina Oprandi.

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