Paris, France (4E Sports) – Top seed Maria Sharapova put her fourth-round loss at the Australian Open behind, dropping just one game in a 6-0, 6-1 win over Daniela Hantuchova in her Open GDF SUEZ opener Wednesday.
Sharapova won the first eight games of the match and hit 10 aces en route to victory that booked her a spot in the third round.
“I had a tough first opponent who can play extremely good tennis,” Sharapova said. “I wanted to start the match off well. It was extremely important to put that pressure on her from the beginning.”
Sharapova’s performance was a far cry from her showing in her fourth-round loss in Melbourne to Dominika Cibulkova.
“It’s quite an adjustment coming here,” Sharapova said. “I lost quite early in Australia, so it gave me a little bit more time to get ready for this event, to catch up on jet lag and get through that. I’ve had some good practices on center court here as well.”
Sharapova will face the winner between eighth seed Kirsten Flipkens and Yvonne Meusburger of Austria. Flipkens earlier defeated Mona Barthel, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 while Meusberger downed Anna-Lena Friedsam, 7-5, 6-1.
In other matches, Elina Svitolina eliminated Roberta Vinci 6-3, 0-6, 7-5; Galina Voskoboeva edged Stefanie Voegele, 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (3) ; Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat seventh seed Carla Suarez-Navarro, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Fourth seed Angelique Kerber eliminated Klara Zakopalova, 6-2, 7-5 while fifth seed Simona Halep defeated Kristina Mladenovic, 7-6 (1), 6-4.
In Pattaya, Thailand, fourth seed Ekaterina Makarova booked a spot in the quarterfinal of the PTT Pattaya Open with a 6-0, 6-2 win over fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva. Marakova will take on the winner of the Kimiko Date-Krumm-Tadeka Majeric showdown.
Sorana Cirstea joined Marakova in the next round with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Alison Riske. Cirstea will take on Karolina Pliskova, who rallied from 3-0 down in the third set for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Russian qualifier Alla Kudryavtseva.