Sharapova thrashes Pliskova to set up potential Serena clash

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PARIS, June 2: Maria Sharapova set up a potential last-16 clash with Serena Williams by crushing sixth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-1 in the French Open third round on Saturday.
The five-time Grand Slam champion produced one of her best performances since returning from a doping ban, cruising to a totally one-sided win in her first match on Court Philippe Chatrier for three years.
“I knew I had to play well against a tough opponent. I managed to stay aggressive and I played smart as well,” said Sharapova, who delighted a half-full Chatrier by thanking them for their support in French.
The Russian, winner in Paris in 2012 and 2014, is seeded at a major for the first time since testing positive for meldonium two years ago.
A fired-up Sharapova powered 18 winners past her fellow former world number one Pliskova, with the Czech never threatening any resistance in a match which lasted just 59 minutes.
She will next face either 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams or German 11th seed Julia Goerges, who play later on Saturday, in the fourth round. (AFP)