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Super Maria marches on

Second seed beat Ayumi Morita 6-1 6-1; Radwanska,Ivanovic bow out

Written by Associated Press | Paris | Published: June 2, 2012 3:56:21 am

Even though he was again far from his best,Roger Federer still managed to win at the French Open. Maria Sharapova,on the other hand,continued her dominant march towards the only Grand Slam she hasn’t won with a straight sets victory in the second round.

Federer,champion at Roland Garros in 2009,was pushed to four sets on Friday for the second straight match,this time beating Nicolas Mahut of France 6-3 4-6 6-2 7-5 in the third round. Trying to become the first 30-plus man to win a major title since Andre Agassi in 2003 at the Australian Open,Federer improved his number of Grand Slam match wins to 235. For Mahut,it was the first time he has ever won a set against Federer in four matches.

Maria Sharapova also won,reaching the third round with another easy victory,while third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic were eliminated. Among the men,No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France,No. 7 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and No. 9 Juan Martin del Potro also reached the third round. No. 11 Gilles Simon lost.

Three days after scoring a “double bagel” in the first round,the second-seeded Sharapova defeated Ayumi Morita of Japan 6-1 6-1. “I really wanted to try to get her on the move. I thought I played well,aggressive,moved in when I had to,” Sharapova said. “With every round I’m going to be playing tougher opponents,and that’s when you really want to kind of step it up and raise your level. That’s what I’ll try to do in the next round.” Sharapova has won three major titles in her career,but she still needs to win at Roland Garros to complete a career Grand Slam.

Radwanska ousted

Two days after eliminating seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams,Radwanska was routed by 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1 6-2. On Court Philippe Chatrier,the 23-year-old Pole didn’t look anything like the player who overwhelmed Williams in straight sets on Wednesday. “She was just playing very aggressive on both sides,” Radwanska said of Kuznetsova. “She just had (an) answer for everything I was trying to do.”

Radwanska has been having a stellar year on tour,winning three titles and moving up to a career-high No. 3 ranking last month. But she is the only player in the top 10 who has never reached a Grand Slam semifinal. “It’s always disappointing when losing in the first week of a Grand Slam,that’s for sure,” Radwanska said. “Today I didn’t play bad,she was just playing unbelievable.” Kuznetsova,who also won the US Open in 2004,has struggled since winning the title at Roland Garros three years ago,only reaching one Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Also in the third round,the 13th-seeded Ivanovic lost to Sara Errani of Italy 1-6 7-5 6-3. The former top-ranked player committed 37 of her 40 unforced errors in the final two sets. Errani had only 18. “In the third set I was creating a lot of opportunities and missing a lot of easy,easy finishing balls,” Ivanovic said. “That’s something that I’m not really happy about.” No. 6 Sam Stosur,the 2010 runner-up,advanced as well.

American teen Sloane Stephens also advanced to the fourth round,beating Mathilde Johansson of France 6-3 6-2. Of the eight teenagers in this year’s draw,the 19-year-old Stephens was the only one to even reach the third round.

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