Published November 20, 2014
STRASBOURG, France (AP) — Top-seeded Maria Sharapova cruised into the quarterfinals of the Strasbourg International with a 6-3, 6-0 win Wednesday over qualifier Dia Evtimova.
Sharapova, given a wild-card entry after being sidelined two months with a right elbow injury, didn't face a single break point to claim her second win on clay this year.
"I served much better today and returned better too," Sharapova said. "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."
Sharapova lost in the first round in Madrid last week.
Sharapova will face Julia Goerges of Germany, who defeated sixth-seeded Sybille Bammer of Austria 6-1, 7-6 (6).
"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."
American Vania King, a doubles specialist who won her sole singles title in Bangkok in 2006, broke Frenchwoman Alize Cornet five times in a 6-3, 6-2 win.
King will face Anastasia Rodionova of Australia, who advanced when Elena Baltacha of Britain retired with a lower back injury while leading 2-1 in the first set.
"The good news is that I have five or six days to recover, and when I've had this problem in the past, that has been enough," Baltacha said. "I'm pretty optimistic about Roland Garros."
The French Open starts Sunday in Paris.
Three-time tournament winner Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain also advanced when Lucie Hradecka retired. Medina Garrigues was leading 6-4, 3-0 when Hradecka quit with a wrist injury.
Kristina Barrois of Germany defeated Yvonne Meusburger of Austria 7-5, 6-3.