LONDON: Maria Sharapova outclassed Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp as the former Wimbledon champion breezed into the third round with a straight sets victory on Wednesday.
Fourth seed Sharapova took 65 minutes to see off the world number 123 in a 6-3, 6-1 second round win.
Sharapova faces Romanian 29th seed Irina-Camelia Begu in the round of 32.
Hogenkamp, 23, was making her main draw debut at the All England Club but was no match for the Russian 2004 champion.
Sharapova followed her boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov on the 4,000-capacity Court Two, the Bulgarian 11th seed having made it through to the third round with a straight sets win over Steve Johnson of the US.
Sharapova, 28, hit 23 winners as she booked her place in the third round.
On the men’s front, defending champion Novak Djokovic also reached the Wimbledon third round with a win over Jarkko Nieminen which brought down the curtain on the Finn’s All England Club career.
Top seed Djokovic, who won 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, will take on Australian 27th seed Bernard Tomic for a place in the last-16 as the Serb continues his bid to win a third Wimbledon and ninth Grand Slam crown.
It was Djokovic’s sixth career win in seven meetings against the 33-year-old Nieminen and the two men exchanged a warm embrace at the net once their 92-minute Centre Court duel had ended.
“It was his last Wimbledon so I congratulated him on a great career,” said Djokovic. “He’s been around for many years and he’s one of the nicest guys off the court and a great fighter on it. It was a pleasure to play him.”
Nieminen, whose best performance at the All England Club was a quarter-final run in 2006, had ended the Wimbledon career of 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt in the first round.
After his own curtain call on Wednesday, he placed a kiss on the Centre Court grass as the fans gave him and the champion a standing ovation.
Kyrgios courts Wimbledon trouble again
Nick Kyrgios fired another verbal volley at Wimbledon officials during a heated 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-4 second-round win over Argentina’s Juan Monaco.
Kyrgios has a reputation as one of the most volatile players on the men’s tour and the Australian youngster is already facing a fine after shouting “dirty scum” following a row with umpire Mohamed Lahyani in his first-round match against Diego Schwartzman.
The 20-year-old had insisted he was directing the abuse at himself rather than Lahyani, but he did himself no favours with more ranting at umpire Carlos Bernardes and a line judge during his one hour and 39 minute-victory against Monaco.
With the sizzling temperatures approaching 34°C, Kyrgios, who faces Canadian seventh seed Milos Raonic in the third round, quickly lost his cool on Court 18, even though the 26th seed was dominating the match.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2015.
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