London :Maria Sharapova declared herself a contender for the Wimbledon ladies' singles title as she moved into the third round with a straight sets victory over Romania's Ioana Raluca Olaru on Thursday.
The Russian 2004 Wimbledon champion won 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 24 minutes on Court One and though she was broken in the second set, was rarely troubled by her opponent, who has a world ranking of 114.
"I'm just happy that I was able to close it off," the 16th seed said.
"I definitely made a few errors in the second set that I shouldn't have made.
"I've just got to keep being aggressive and look to come in.
"It's just a thrill to be back. Last year on this day I was going back home.
"I'm here to contend. I'm here to win the tournament."
The 23-year-old from Siberia has struggled on her last two visits to Wimbledon, with an injured right shoulder troubling her as she lost in the second round on both occasions.
Sharapova faces either Slovakian 24th seed Daniela Hantuchova or the Czech Republic's Barbora Zahlavova Strycova next.
The former world number one had never faced Bucharest right-hander Olaru before.
Entering Wimbledon, Olaru lost 11 of her last 12 matches, but beat France's Alize Cornet in the first round here in three sets to end a six-match losing streak.
Sharapova cruised through the first set and was a break of serve up in the second set but was broken back.
The former Wimbledon, US and Australian Open champion had a break point at 4-4 in the second set and won the game on a double fault to leave her serving for the match.
Sharapova sealed the contest when her opponent shot long, having rescued two match points.