(Reuters) – Top seed Angelique Kerber won the battle of the present and former Wimbledon champions as she beat Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-3 in a heavyweight second-round clash at the Mallorca Open on Thursday.
Germany’s Kerber, who will arrive at Wimbledon as reigning champion, proved too solid for Sharapova as her comeback from more shoulder problems was cut short.
Kerber’s claycourt season had been undermined by an ankle injury and she bowed out in the first round of the French Open.
But the 31-year-old left-hander looked sharp as she dominated Sharapova on the Santa Ponsa grass, setting up a quarter-final against either France’s Caroline Garcia or Spanish wildcard Paula Badosa.
It was Kerber’s fourth successive win over five-times Grand Slam champion Sharapova, who returned to action this week ranked 85 after undergoing right shoulder surgery in February.
American teenager Amanda Anisimova, who reached the French Open semi-finals this month, eased past Alize Cornet 6-2 6-4.
She will next face third seed Belinda Bencic, who also sealed her place in the quarter-finals. She was leading 5-7 6-3 3-1 when American opponent Shelby Rogers had to retire with an injury.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)