Sharapova progress continues
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:33
The Russian dispatched Francesca Schiavone 6-1 6-3 in a little more than an hour to reach the last eight of the AEGON Classic in Birmingham.
However, British interest was ended as Elena Baltacha, Mel South and Naomi Cavaday all bowed out on a rain-interrupted fourth day.
Sharapova, who had earlier had to come back to break American Alexa Glatch’s serve in one game to complete a 6-3 6-4 victory which had begun on Wednesday afternoon, had little trouble in seeing off her Italian opponent.
“It’s never easy, but everyone has to deal with these situations,” Sharapova said of the rain-enforced delay. It’s tricky, but I’m glad I could make it.”
The 22-year-old, champion on these courts in 2004 and 2005, is starting to rediscover the form which saw her win Wimbledon five years ago.
A shoulder injury sidelined her for 10 months last year and she is only just starting to climb back up the world rankings (she is currently 73rd) having slipped out of the top 100.
Sharapova now faces Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, who saw off 14th seed Roberta Vinci 6-1 6-4 after earlier defeating Michaella Krajicek 6-2 6-4.