Sharapova joins charge of easy center court winners

Fri Sep 3, 2010 4:44am EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova joined a stampede of easy center court winners at the U.S. Open on Thursday when the former champion trampled Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-1 6-2 to reach the third round.

The 2006 Open winner did not face a single break point in her demolition of 68th-ranked Benesova who contributed 26 unforced errors to her own demise.

Wearing a black and blue ensemble, the 14th-seeded Sharapova bruised the Czech's defense with 16 winners, including three aces.

The Russian, who followed women's top seed Caroline Wozniacki and five-time U.S. men's winner Roger Federer with an easy straight-sets win on center court, will next play American wildcard Beatrice Capra, who upset 18th seed Aravane Rezai of France.

(Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Frank Pingue)

<p>Maria Sharapova of Russia serves to Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 2, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine</p>