| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo credit: Calvin Rhoden

Defending champion Maria Sharapova cruised into the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Tuesday, moving past Colombian Mariana Duque-Marino 6-1, 6-2.

“It’s definitely nice to get another win today,” said Sharapova, who beat Timea Bacsinszky 6-2, 6-3 on Sunday. “It’s a little bit of a different opponent and different style of play against someone that I had to be very patient. I knew maybe she wasn’t going to hit a crazy amount of winners, but she would stay in the point and make me work for it.”

Sharapova won more than half of the points on Duque-Marino’s serve and broke four times, two in each set.

The world number three Russian will take on France’s Caroline Garcia, who edged the 14th-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 on Tuesday.

Ana Ivanovic had no problems getting past Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-4. The seventh-seeded Serb displayed a lot of aggressive play, ripping 38 winners to just 32 unforced errors against the WTA rising star.

Ivanovic will play the 10th-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez-Navarro in the third-round. Suarez-Navarro defeated German qualifier Julia Goerges 6-3, 7-5.

Victoria Azarenka set up a blockbuster matchup with world number one Serena Williams in the next round, defeating Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 6-3 on Tuesday. Fourth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova received a strong test from Coco Vandeweghe, but was able to out duel the American 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 to push through.

Other winners on Tuesday were Barbora Strycova, who ousted American Varvara Lepchenko 6-4, 6-2, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who upset 15th-seeded Italian Sara Errani 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-4.