Sharapova cruises into Warsaw Open quarterfinals

WARSAW : Maria Sharapova continued her successful return to the WTA circuit with a confident 6-2, 6-0 victory over Darya Kustova of Belarus which took her into the quarter-finals.

The former world No.1 is playing her first singles tournament in nine and a half months after taking time off to recover from a persistent shoulder injury.

Despite the doubts over her fitness, the 22-year-old showed signs of her glory days when she won three Grand Slams including Wimbledon as a 17-year-old.

The Russian pin-up cruised through the first set in a much improved showing from her inconsistent three-set first round win over Italy''s Tathiana Garbin 6-1, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3.

She now plays Ukrainian eighth seed Alona Bondarenko for a place in the semi-finals.

Bonderenko, who defeated Poland''s Marta Domachowska 6-3, 6-1, promises to provide a stiffer test for Sharapova.