WTA Tour

Sharapova wins on return

2013-12-30 12:57
Maria Sharapova (AFP)

Brisbane - Russia's Maria Sharapova marked her comeback from injury with a straight sets demolition of Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia in the first round of the Brisbane International on Monday.

Sharapova had not played since a shoulder injury forced her off the tour in August, but she made up for lost time when she beat Garcia 6-3, 6-0 in just 64 minutes on Pat Rafter Arena.

"I think I was just really determined to get back on the court - it's been a while," the third-seeded Russian said.

"It's been four months I believe now. It was a big step for me. It was a big step to come and a big step to play out there tonight."

The world number four handled the Frenchwoman's big serve with ease and totally dominated the rallies, breaking Garcia once in the first set and three times in the second to set up a second round clash against teenage Australian qualifier Ashleigh Barty, a player Sharapova knows little about.

"I think always when you're coming up and making the transition from the juniors to the pros, not many players know about your game," she said.

"I've only seen a few points here and there. I don't think I've watched a full set or match of hers.

"It's very rare to play new opponents because we play so many matches during the year."

Barty, ranked 190th in the world, recorded the best win of her career when she beat Slovakian world number 48 Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 7-5.

The 17-year-old Barty lives in south-west Brisbane, where she still attends a local high school.

She said she tried not to worry about who was on the other side of the net.

"I try not to think too much about the rankings and just try and play the best I can each match," Barty said.

"I was able to play pretty well tonight, so I'm pretty happy with it."

In other matches, Serbia's former world number one Jelena Jankovic, who enjoyed a strong finish to the 2013 season, won a tricky encounter against Italian Francesca Schiavone 6-2, 7-6 (8/6).

Wildcard Casey Dellacqua made it a good day for the Australians when she came from a set down to beat Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 and move into a second round clash against second seed Victoria Azarenka.

Estonia's Kaia Kanepi, who won the Brisbane title two years ago, overcame Russian qualifier Alexandra Panova 6-3, 6-7 (8/10), 6-2, while eighth seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain demolished Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei 6-2, 6-1.

In the men's draw, American Sam Querry caused a minor upset when he beat seventh seeded Russian Dmitry Tursunov 7-5, 6-4, while Australia's Marinko Matosevic enjoyed his first ever ATP win on home soil with a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) win over Frenchman Julien Benneteau.

Bulgarian fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov was too strong for Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-3 and Croatian Marin Cilic beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.


When all is said and done, who of the 'Big 3' in men's tennis ends their career with the most Grand Slams?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.