Paris: Defending champion Maria Sharapova showed no mercy to Nike stable-mate Eugenie Bouchard at the French Open on Friday, swatting aside the Canadian teenager 6-2, 6-4 to reach the last 32.
In a second round match held over from Thursday evening due to rain, with the Russian second seed up a set and 4-2, it took just four more games for her to complete the task, sealing the win when her opponent hit long under pressure.
"It was such a long day yesterday and it is always difficult to come back out, so it was important to get off to a good start and I am just happy to finish the match today," she said.
It was a lesson in big-time tennis for the promising 19-year-old from Quebec, who won the Wimbledon girls singles title last year and who was playing in her first Grand Slam tournament.
Sharapova, a teenage tennis sensation herself when she won the 2004 Wimbledon title at the age of 17, will go on to play China's Zheng Jie who eased past Melanie Oudin of the United States 6-3, 6-1.
She is now on a nine-match winning streak at Roland Garros having completed her collection of Grand Slam titles in Paris last year, the seventh woman in the Open era to achieve that feat.
The Russian has been a model of consistency on tour this year, winning tournaments at Indian Wells and Stuttgart, but she has lost heavily to top seed Serena Williams at Doha, Miami and Madrid.
The Sharapova-Bouchard match was one of five second round matches in the bottom half of the draw that were held over from Thursday when rain lashed the Roland Garros claycourts for a large part of the day.
French number one Marion Bartoli battled into the third round with another hard-fought win, 7-6, (7/5), 7-5 win over Colombian qualifier Mariana Duque-Marino and has now spent over five hours on court in just two matches.
She was further disturbed by being given a warning for seeking coaching from her father Walter, an ever-present at all the former Wimbledon finalist's matches.
There was more Russian success when Maria Kirilenko eased past Australian junior hope Ashleigh Barty 6-3, 6-1.
In the top half of the draw, where the matches are already in the third round, top seed Serena Williams was going up against Sorana Cirstea, the 26th seed from Romania who reached the quarter-finals in 2009.
The 31-year-old Williams is seeking her 16th Grand Slam title, but just her second at the French Open after 2002.
She is currently on a 26-match winning streak having won four tournaments in a row coming in to Roland Garros.
Fourth see Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland was taking on Dinah Pfizenmaier of Germany and last year's runner-up Sara Errani of Italy was matched with big-hitting German Sabine Lisicki.
Story first published on: Friday, 31 May 2013 18:13 IST