MARIA SHARAPOVA crushed Irina-Camelia Begu with a routine straight-sets victory to reach Wimbledon’s last 16 for the 10th time in 13 years.
The 2004 champion bombed out in the second round in 2008, 2009 and 2013, but reached the fourth round for the second year running yesterday.
Sharapova slipped quietly through to Wimbledon’s second week, where she will meet either Zarina Diyas or 14th seed Andrea Petkovic.
The five-time grand slam champion and fourth seed was in the mood to start her weekend early, completing an all-but fuss-free 6-4 6-3 victory.
Sharapova led the second set 5-0 before Begu launched a mini recovery, but the commanding Russian soon quashed the last of the Romanian’s resistance.
Sharapova’s victory followed a sizeable upset in the shape of the USA’s Coco Vandeweghe dumping out 22nd seed Sam Stosur.
Australian hope Stosur could not contain her pumped-up American opponent, who triumphed 6-2 6-0.
Fashionista American star Bethanie Mattek-Sands might be frustrated by Wimbledon’s strict dress code after suggesting it should be relaxed earlier in the week, but will no longer have to worry about how to be creative with her on-court attire after losing out in straight sets to Belinda Bencic.
Eastbourne winner Bencic continued her fine form by swatting aside Mattek-Sands 7-5 7-5.
Meanwhile, while the likes of Amelie Mauresmo, Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl and Stefan Edberg have transferred their grand slam champion knowledge to new careers in coaching, Sharapova says that is simply not for her.
The Russian said: “That’s not something that I could see myself doing.”