Posted: Thursday September 1, 2011 12:24AM ; Updated: Thursday September 1, 2011 12:43AM

Sharapova cruises by Yakimova in second round

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Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova downed Anastasia Yakimova in 70 minutes on Wednesday.
Jason Cairnduff/

NEW YORK (AP) -- Maria Sharapova had nowhere near as tough a time with her second-round match in the U.S. Open as she did with her first.

The third-seeded Russian beat Anastasia Yakimova 6-1, 6-1 on Wednesday night in 70 minutes - a far cry from the more than 2 1/2 hours she needed in a three-set win over Heather Watson in her opener two days before.

After a bit of a slow start, Sharapova turned it into a mismatch. She had 28 winners to two for her opponent. She won 59 points to 32 for Yakimova and saved all five break points against her.

Overall, she left the court with a much better feeling than last time.

"The next match is certainly not the final," she said. "We're in the third round. There are many more to go. It only gets tougher from here. But that's what's so special about being a winner at the end of the tournament. You have to play every match. It's a road. Hopefully, I'll get to that stage."

In search of her fourth major title, Sharapova will play No. 26 Flavia Pennetta in the third round.

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