What cold? Sharapova sizzles in French win

PARIS — If Maria Sharapova was still suffering from a cold, it sure didn’t show on center court as the defending champion easily advanced to the third round of the French Open on Wednesday.

Sharapova saved four of the five break points she faced against her Fed Cup teammate and limited her mistakes to eight unforced errors in a 6-3, 6-1 win over Vitalia Diatchenko.

The second-seeded Sharapova was booed Monday after she had skipped the on-court postmatch interview, citing her illness as the reason. She is trying to become the first woman to successfully defend her crown at the clay-court tournament since Justine Henin in 2007.

The victory set up a third-round meeting with 2010 runner-up Samantha Stosur, who advanced with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Amandine Hesse of France.

Trailing 5-0 in the second set, Hesse, playing in front of her home crowd, looked up to the sky and sighed in relief as her forehand volley landed on the line, out of Stosur’s reach, to spare the wild-card entry the humiliation of bowing out without winning a single game.

After finishing last season outside the top 20 for the first time since 2008, the 26th-seeded Stosur is enjoying a good spell of form, having won her first title this year in Strasbourg last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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