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Sharapova strolls to first Olympics win

Maria Sharapova attacks the net during her fourth round match against Sabine Lisicki.
by Dan Imhoff
Sunday 29 July 2012

Shahar Peer’s blue shoes were a rare bright note for the Israeli, after being on the receiving end of a 6-2, 6-0 hiding from Maria Sharapova under the roof of Centre Court on Sunday.

The unseeded Peer was always going to be up against it, having never beaten the Russian in six previous attempts and while Sharapova started more nervously, dropping her opening service game on her Olympic debut, it was a hugely misleading sign of things to come.

Warming to the task of a representing a whopping great country, with a whopping great history of Olympic success, Sharapova quickly broke back and shifted up a few gears to clinch the first set 6-2 in 33 minutes.

Sharapova would finish the match with a lop-sided 22 winners to her opponent’s two, with Peer for the most part finding herself scrambling some two to three metres from behind the baseline just to stay in the points.

The third seed crushed anything which landed short, often standing inside the baseline ready to thump her next winner off Peer’s second serve. The pressure forced the Israeli to concede the opening break of the second set with Sharapova quickly racing to 3-0.

She passed the one-hour mark with an ace down the T and a crosscourt backhand winner gave her a 5-0 buffer.

Bagel time beckoned. The Russian would not have to worry about serving it out, bringing up a triple match point with a ripping backhand down the line leaving Peer stranded before drawing the error to comfortably progress.

The London 2012 Olympic tennis is taking place at Wimbledon. Visit the ITF Olympics site for full scores, draws and the London 2012 site for video content, venue and schedule information.

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