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Sharapova edges closer to Serena clash

Paris – Two-time champion Maria Sharapova edged closer to a possible French Open last-16 duel with Serena Williams by seeing off Croatia’s Donna Vekic 7-5, 6-4 in the second round on Thursday.

Former world number one Sharapova, seeded 28 this year, will face Czech sixth seed Karolina Pliskova for a place in the fourth round.

Old rival Serena could be a possible opponent but the three-time champion still has her second round to play Thursday against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.

Sharapova, the champion in Paris in 2012 and 2014, is playing Roland Garros for the first time since 2015.

The 31-year-old was serving a doping ban in 2015 and was refused a wildcard by Roland Garros organisers last year.

Results from day five of the French Open at Roland Garros on Thursday (x denotes seeding):


2nd round

Richard Gasquet (FRA x27) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0

Maximilian Marterer (GER) bt Denis Shapovalov (CAN x24) 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5, 6-4

Jurgen Zopp (EST) bt Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Mischa Zverev (GER) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-3, 6-7 (0/7), 7-6 (7/2), 6-1

Kevin Anderson (RSA x6) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Marin Cilic (CRO x3) bt Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 6-2, 6-2, 6-7 (2/7), 7-5

Steve Johnson (USA) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 6-2

Fabio Fognini (ITA x18) bt Elias Ymer (SWE) 6-4, 6-1, 6-2

Kyle Edmund (GBR x16) bt Mrton Fucsovics (HUN) 6-0, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3

Dominic Thiem (AUT x7) bt Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

Lucas Pouille (FRA x15) bt Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-2, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7/3)


1st round

Simona Halep (ROU x1) bt Taylor Townsend (USA) 6-3, 6-1

Andrea Petkovic (GER) bt Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 6-0, 7-6 (7/5)

Daria Gavrilova (AUS x24) bt Bernarda Pera (USA) 5-7, 7-5, 6-3

Elise Mertens (BEL x16) bt Heather Watson (GBR) 6-3, 6-4

Garbine Muguruza (ESP x3) bt Fiona Ferro (FRA) 6-4, 6-3

Samantha Stosur (AUS) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x30) 6-2, 7-6 (7/1)

Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK x19) bt Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-2, 6-4

Lesya Tsurenko (UKR) bt Coco Vandeweghe (USA x15) 3-6, 6-4, 6-0

Maria Sharapova (RUS x28) bt Donna Vekic (CRO) 7-5, 6-4

Karolna Plskov (CZE x6) bt Lucie Safarova (CZE) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1

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