Brisbane - Top seed Maria Sharapova began her 2015 campaign in ruthless fashion
as she brushed aside Yaroslava Shvedova 6-0, 6-1 in the second round of
the Brisbane International Tuesday.
Sharapova dominated her opponent in every department as she raced through the first set in just 23 minutes.
Shvedova, a qualifier from Kazakhstan, offered more resistance in the second but was no match for the world number two.
had not played a competitive match since the WTA Finals in October. But
there were no signs of rust as she cruised into the quarter-finals.
"It certainly felt good to start (well) after not playing a match for a couple of months," Sharapova said.
all the training, it's such a different feeling to go out on the court
and play in front of a crowd in an actual match atmosphere.
"I wanted to start off sharp and try to do the right things."
broke her opponent five times throughout the match, but had to save two
break points on her own serve in the second set.
She said this was important in stopping any chance of a Shvedova comeback.
lost the first set in her previous match (against Sabine Lisicki) 6-0
and ended up winning the match in a tough three-set battle, so you never
know," Sharapova said.
"There were moments where I saved a few
important break points, which was crucial. That gave me good confidence
towards the end of that second set."
Sharapova will now play the
winner of the clash between seventh seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain
and Croatia's Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
Earlier, third-seeded German
Angelique Kerber remained on course for a semi-final showdown against
Sharapova when she crushed Russian qualifier Daria Gavrilova in straight
Kerber needed just 90 minutes to see off Brisbane-based Gavrilova 6-3, 7-5.
"I think it's good to be now in the quarters and have a lot of matches before Melbourne," Kerber said.
"I think that was my goal, and right now it looks good."
She will now take on Ukraine's Elina Svitolina, a 6-3, 6-2 winner over Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic.
Defending men's champion Lleyton Hewitt suffered a shock loss at the hands of big-serving fellow Australian Sam Groth.
Groth blasted 14 aces and won 89 percent of his first serves to overpower Hewitt 6-3, 6-2 in just 58 minutes.
seed Kevin Anderson was another casualty in the men's draw, with the
South African falling to Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.
seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, a finalist in Brisbane in 2012, cruised into
the second round with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Argentina's Carlos Berlocq.