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Sharapova title defence is gaining momentum

Defending champion Maria Sharapova made a potentially tricky third-round encounter look easy as she beat Australia's Samantha Stosur 6-3 6-4 at the French Open in Paris.

Sharapova needed three sets to beat Stosur when the pair met in last year's round of 16 but the Russian enjoyed a much simpler passage this time.

The victory wraps up a successful first week for the number two seed who has reached three consecutive finals at Roland Garros and now plays Czech Lucie Safarova for a place in the quarter-finals. "This week has been about just getting the job done," Sharapova said.

"The conditions in the first match and today have been quite tough."

Second seed Roger Federer reached the fourth round with 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory over Damir Dzumhur while Andy Murray faces Australian Nick Kyrgios today.

Meanwhile, east Belfast teenager Karola Bejenaru missed out on qualifying for the French Open junior championships after losing to Algerian Ines Ibbou, ranked 43 in the world, 6-3 6-2.

Belfast Telegraph

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