The 2004 champion tumbled out in the second round in 2008, 2009 and 2013, but??reached the last 16 for the second year running on Friday with a straightforward 6-4 6-3 victory.
Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, led the second set 5-0 before Begu launched something of a comeback but the??commanding Russian soon put the match beyond doubt.
“What everyone at this stage of the tournament expects is to go further and expect more, better things from yourself. As the matches get tougher, you have to raise your level,” Sharapova said.
“That’s why there’s only one champion, that’s why it makes it so special: it’s the one that really raises their game.
“You have to have the belief and I absolutely do. You don’t work all those hours to go on court and not believe in yourself.
“I want to be the winner and I do my best to do that.”
Sharapova’s victory followed a sizeable upset when American Coco??Vandeweghe defeated 22nd seed Sam Stosur 6-2 6-0, the Australian recording a costly 20 unforced errors and five double faults.
Stosur, who also lost to Vandeweghe at the Australian Open in January, has never had much success at the All England Club, having never been beyond the third round in SW19, and this was only the third time in 13 appearances she even reached the third round stage.
American star Bethanie Mattek-Sands might be frustrated by??Wimbledon’s strict dress code after suggesting it should be relaxed earlier in??the week, but will no longer have to worry about how to be creative with her
on-court attire after losing out in straight sets to Belinda Bencic.
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