PARIS (Reuters) - World number two Maria Sharapova said she felt like a “cow on ice” on clay after advancing to the third round of the French Open with a crushing 6-2 6-1 win over seasoned American Jill Craybas on Thursday.
Sharapova, who had struggled to beat France’s Emilie Loit in her first match here, needed just 64 minutes to brush aside her opponent but made no secret of the fact that she preferred faster surfaces.
“I don’t play on clay for the other 10 months of the year. It’s not as natural for me, just because I don’t play that much on it,” said the former Wimbledon champion, who has been fighting several injuries, most recently a sore shoulder.
The 32-year-old Craybas is ranked a modest 73rd in the world but is remembered for stunning Serena Williams in the third round at Wimbledon two years ago.
She was, however, never in contention against the 20-year-old Russian.
The pair were tied 2-2 in the first set but Sharapova then won the next 10 games.
After taking the first set with a service winner after 36 minutes, she opened up a 5-0 lead in the second set.
Serving for the match, Sharapova was broken but then captured her opponent’s serve, sealing victory with a forehand volley on the first match point.
The Russian has never gone beyond the quarter-finals on four previous visits to the French capital.
She is also hampered by her shoulder problem.
“I feel it at times in the match but I try not to think about it,” she said.
Sharapova, who held the number one spot earlier this year before injuries slowed her down, goes on to meet Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva.
Editing by Alison Wildey, London Sports Desk; Reuters messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org; +33 1 4949 5370