World No. 2 Sharapova sails through second round at China Open

Maria Sharapova of Russia gestures after the women's singles 2nd round match against Sorana Cirstea of Romania at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, China, Oct. 3, 2012. Sharapova won 2-0.

BEIJING, Oct. 3 -- World No. 2 Maria Sharapova is moving towards her first China Open title in her fifth appearance in this tournament with a comfortable win over Sorana Cirstea of Romania in the second round here on Wednesday.

This was the first encounter between these two players.

"I have never faced this opponent before. She has had good results, has beaten top players before, and she's one of the players that can come out and have a great day," the 25-year-old Sharapova said of her opponent's performance after the 6-2, 6-2 victory.

The Russian immediately adjusted herself after trailing 1-0 to her opponent, who is ranked world No. 29 now, and had a three-game winning streak. The Romanian held her serve in the fifth game. The second seed then won the next three games in a row with her strong serves and forehand.

The second set just went in a similar way as the first one. After Cirstea maintained her serve in the fifth game and trailed 3-2, this year's Roland Garros titleholder made a timely adjustment and had another three-game winning streak to seal the victory.

Up against Sharapova in the third round will be Polona Hercog of Slovenia, another player she never played against before. The latter defeated Russian player Ekaterina Makarova 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-6 (3) in an earlier match.

"I have never played against her. You know, I think she has a big game but also a different game, you know, hits a lot of slice off the backhand, you know, has a big forehand," said the Russian.

Sorana Cirstea of Romania returns a shot to Maria Sharapova of Russia during the women's singles 2nd round match at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, China, Oct. 3, 2012. Cirstea lost 0-2.