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.
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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 here 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 said: “I played a pretty tricky opponent 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.”
Irina Falconi became the second home player through to the third round, battling back from 3-0 down in the decider to defeat 14th seed Dominika Cibulkova 2-6 6-3 7-5.
Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer was yet another player not to finish a match, the 20th seed pulling out when trailing Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia 6-1 3-0 and 12th seed Agnieszka Radwanska succumbed to a 6-3 4-6 6-3 defeat at the hands of Germany’s Angelique Kerber.