Indian Wells: Top seed Caroline Wozniacki finally found a way to beat Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez with a ruthless 6-1, 6-3 demolition in the third round of the Indian Wells WTA tournament on Monday.
Wozniacki, who had lost to the left-handed doubles specialist in their three previous meetings, broke her opponent twice in the second set to seal victory in 72 minutes.
Under a cloudless blue sky, the Danish world number one dominated most of the exchanges from the baseline and needed just one match point to advance to the next round after a Martinez Sanchez forehand sailed long.
"I'm happy to be through," a beaming Wozniacki told reporters after ending the 28th-ranked Spaniard's run. "She's a tough player, so I knew that this was not going to be an easy one."
"You don't get any rhythm against her. It was important to move my feet, try to get as many returns back, and it helped me a little bit that she didn't get too many first serves in so I could dictate the game."
Wozniacki, starting her 22nd week as world number one after losing it for one week to Kim Clijsters, broke Martinez Sanchez's serve twice to breeze through the opening set in 27 minutes in bright morning sunshine at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
The pony-tailed Dane maintained control with further breaks in the fifth and ninth games of the second to stay on track for her second WTA title this year, following her success at last month's Dubai championships.
"As long as I kept her on the baseline, then I felt like I was in control of the point," said Wozniacki, who lost to Serb Jelena Jankovic in last year's final.
In other matches, former champion Maria Sharapova of Russia, the 16th seed, overpowered 20th-seeded Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai 6-2, 6-2 and eighth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat Poland's Urszula Radwanska 7-6, 6-3.
Sharapova, who needed almost three hours on court to win her first match here against Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues, recovered from losing her opening service game to seal victory in 73 minutes.
"It started slow," said the 23-year-old Russian. "I started like I didn't have my cup of coffee or something ... so that was disappointing. But I got it together."
"When she's on, she can be one of the toughest players to play against. She had a lot of errors today. I had good return games, I returned a lot better, and served a lot better in the second set."
Sharapova, champion at Indian Wells in 2006, will next meet either fourth-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur or Russian former world number one Dinara Safina who were playing the evening match on Monday.
First Published: Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 10:00