- Associated Press - Friday, June 1, 2012

PARIS (AP) - When Maria Sharapova finally got out on court Friday for the second round of the French Open, there was no stopping her.

The three-time Grand Slam champion, who was forced to wait an extra day because John Isner’s marathon match ran late on Thursday, easily reached the third round with her second straight rout.

“I feel like I warmed up like 20 times for this match,” said Sharapova, who beat Ayumi Morita of Japan 6-1, 6-1. “It was one of those days where you just want to get on the court and then, you know, you’re at the courts all day, and sitting, waiting around, eating, sleeping. It’s like a good way to put someone into retirement.”

Don’t worry, Sharapova fans, she’s not quitting just yet. In fact, this might be her best chance to win the clay-court Grand Slam.

The second-seeded Russian has won the three other major titles, and she reached the semifinals at Roland Garros last year. And with Serena Williams already out of the tournament, Sharapova is one of the main contenders.

“If you get to the quarterfinals, no matter who you play, you have to play at a high level,” Sharapova said. “You can’t worry about if it’s Serena or somebody else across the net. You have to beat them.”

So far, that hasn’t been a problem.

In the first round, Sharapova produced a “double bagel,” beating Alexandra Cadantu of Romania 6-0, 6-0. The victory Friday was nearly as easy.

Sharapova won twice as many points as Morita, 56-28, and never faced a break point.

“I really wanted to try to get her on the move. I thought I played well, aggressive, moved in when I had to,” Sharapova said.

She will face Peng Shuai of China in the next round.

“With every round I’m going to be playing tougher opponents, and that’s when you really want to kind of step it up and raise your level,” she said. “That’s what I’ll try to do in the next round.”

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