Montreal - Maria Sharapova fired 25 winners past hapless Russian compatriot
Daria Kasatkina in a 6-0, 6-2 victory at the rain-hit Montreal WTA event
on Wednesday, but Angelique Kerber's first match since capturing the
Wimbledon title ended in a sobering defeat.
Sharapova needed just
66 minutes to see off 12th-seeded Kasatkina in an impressive and timely
display of big-hitting, with the US Open getting underway in just under
three weeks' time.
"I came on court having a lot of respect for my
opponent because she's up and coming but has already established
herself," said the 31-year-old Sharapova.
"I knew I had a tough match ahead of me. I was focused from the beginning and I finished it that way."
Kasatkina, 21, managed just three winners in the match.
was suspended before the start of Wednesday's night matches because of
rain, resulting in four contests being added to Thursday's schedule. The
action will resume at 11:00 local time.
number one Simona Halep will now play Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the
second match on court central followed by second seeded Caroline
Wozniacki in her second round match against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.
Williams also had her second match of the tournament moved to Thursday.
She beat world number 124 Caroline Dolehide in the first round but will
have a tougher test against veteran Sorana Cirstea of Romania.
Sharapova next faces French sixth seed Caroline Garcia for a place in the quarter-finals.
major winner Sharapova leads the head-to-head against Garcia 4-1 but
the French player won their only meeting in the last three years on clay
in Stuttgart in April.
World number four Kerber, playing for the
first time since defeating Serena Williams in last month's Wimbledon
final, slumped to a 6-4, 6-1 loss to Alize Cornet of France.
German left-hander Kerber committed 32 unforced errors against the 34th-ranked Cornet in her 85-minute second round exit.
28, goes on to face Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the third round. It
was her second successive victory against Kerber having also triumphed
on hard courts in Beijing last year.
"It was my first match after
three weeks now," said Kerber. "It's not always so easy to change the
surface. I think I need a little bit more time to get used to hard
Barty, the Australian 15th seed, defeated Belgium's
Alison Van Uytvanck 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 while recently-married Czech ninth
seed Karolina Pliskova suffered a 6-2, 6-2 defeat at the hands of Kiki
Bertens of the Netherlands.
Fifth seed and defending champion
Elina Svitolina went through to the third round after in-form Romanian
opponent Mihaela Buzarnescu was forced to retire with an ankle injury.
was leading 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 4-3 when the weekend San Jose champion
turned her ankle and was forced to leave the court in a wheelchair and
in floods of tears.
"Very tough to see players getting injured
that badly on court. I wish @MikiBuzarnescu a veryyyy speedy recovery!
Stay strong!," tweeted Svitolina.
US Open champion and third seed Sloane Stephens also made the third round by seeing off home hope Francoise Abanda 6-0, 6-2.
Results of the WTA tournament in Montreal on Wednesday (x denotes seeded player):
Maria Sharapova (RUS) bt Daria Kasatkina (RUS x12) 6-0, 6-2
Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Angelique Kerber (GER x4) 6-4, 6-1
Ashleigh Barty (AUS x15) bt Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 7-6 (9/7), 6-2
Kiki Bertens (NED) bt Karolina Pliskova (CZE x9) 6-2, 6-2
Elina Svitolina (UKR x5) bt Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROM) 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 4-3 - retired
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) bt Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 6-4, 3-2 - retired
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) bt Mónica Puig (PUR) 4-6, 7-6 (11/9), 6-1
Sloane Stephens (USA x3) bt Françoise Abanda (CAN) 6-0, 6-2
Elise Mertens (BEL x14) bt Zhang Shuai (CHN) 6-2, 6-7 (2/7), 6-0