New York: Maria Sharapova avoided Wednesday's cull of seeds at the US Open with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over pint-sized Belarusian Anastasiya Yakimova in a second round match which finished just past midnight.

Russian third seed Sharapova, the 2006 champion, compensated for her 23 unforced errors with 28 winners as she brushed aside her 84th-ranked opponent to set up a clash with Italian Flavia Pennetta for a last 16 place.

Sharapova's win came on the day when her half of the draw, which had already lost Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the first round, was stripped of two-time champion Venus Williams through illness.

French eighth seed Marion Bartoli, Polish 12th seed Agnieszka Radwanska and experienced Slovakian 14th seed Dominika Cibulkova were also heading for the exit on Wednesday.

Sharapova needed just 70 minutes to defeat Yakimova who until this year had never won a match at the US Open.

Her paltry return of just two winners illustrated the mismatch on Arthur Ashe Stadium.