Sharapova spoils British party

Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:31pm GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova overcame Briton Laura Robson and a partisan crowd on Number One court to reach the Wimbledon third round on Friday.

The Russian former champion won 7-6 6-3 but the 17-year-old Robson, world number 254, delighted the home fans by roaring into a 4-1 lead in the first set.

Fifth seed Sharapova grew increasingly tetchy as the crowd sensed a huge upset but she fought back to force a tiebreak which she won 7-4.

Left-hander Robson continued to produce the odd brilliant winner but she could not live with Sharapova's power and the Russian completed victory in one hour 48 minutes.

<p>Maria Sharapova of Russia returns to Laura Robson of Britain at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London June 24, 2011. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh</p>
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