Sports

Maria Sharapova Begins New Year With A Memorable Debut In Shenzhen Open

AASTHA SINGAL | 0
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| January 2 , 2018 , 16:20 IST

The five-time Grand Slam Champion, Maria Sharapova had an emphatic start at her debut match in Shenzhen Open on Monday. The Russian player paved her way through the first-round match by stomping over Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu by 6-3, 6-0 in an hour and 20 minutes.

Ever since returning from her 15-month doping ban in April, the world number 59 is playing her first full season and is ready to leave a mark. "It's quite remarkable to see a full stadium for a first round," she said. "It's my first time here, so I didn't know what to expect."

Romania's Simona Halep also had an explicit start at the tournament by marking the victory over America's Nicole Gibbs with a 6-4, 6-1. After striking 12 winners, World number one bombed the 110-ranked player in one hour and nine minutes.

Halep romped through the first-round match with the help of an aggressive forehand and opened the second set with a crunching backhand before claiming the match. "It's always nice to play here in Shenzhen," Simona said post the match.

"I won a title here three years ago already. It's my first victory this year as number one in the world, so I'm just happy and enjoying the time," Halep added. In the second round, Halep will lock horns with China's Duan Yingying whereas Sharapova will face American Alison Riske.