Sharapova Cruises On Clay
Published May 19, 2010 12:00
STRASBOURG, France - With the French Open just four days away, Maria Sharapova's clay court game appears to be rounding into form just in time. The top-seeded Russian routed qualifier Dia Evtimova, 63 60, on a day when three seeds went down at the Internationaux de Strasbourg.
"I served much better today and returned better too," said Sharapova, who lost in the first round last week in Madrid and was extended to three sets in her first round win here. "I'm happy to get the win today against a player I didn't know and who had already played four matches here in Strasbourg."
"I'll need to be solid in my next match," Sharapova said. "She's a player who is improving all the time, but I'll focus on my own game and hope to have five matches here."
Also beaten was third-seeded Virginie Razzano, who fell to Sofia Arvidsson, 36 63 62, and eighth-seeded Elena Baltacha, who had to retire with a low back injury early in the first set against Anastasia Rodionova.
"It's very frustrating. I woke up this morning and straight away I knew there was a problem," Baltacha said. "I gave it a go but there was no way I could continue. The good news is I've give five or six days to recover and when I've had this problem in the past that has been enough. I'm pretty optimistic about Roland Garros."
Two other seeds had a much better time of it Wednesday, as No.5 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues was up 64 30 when Lucie Hradecka had to retire with a left wrist injury and No.7 seed Anastasija Sevastova routed wildcard Kristina Mladenovic, 61 62. Medina Garrigues, a three-time Strasbourg champ, now has a remarkable 20-3 record here. Sevastova won her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title earlier this month in Estoril.