Australian Open 2018: Maria Sharapova beats Tatjana Maria to reach second round

2018 Australian Open
Dates: 15-28 January Venue: Melbourne Park
Coverage: Watch highlights on BBC Two, the BBC Sport website and app. Live commentary on the best matches on BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra and online.
Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova powered into the Australian Open second round with a straight-set win over Germany's Tatjana Maria.

Sharapova, 30, saw off the world number 47 6-1 6-4 on the Margaret Court Arena.

It was her first match at Melbourne since failing a drugs test at the 2016 event, which led to a 15-month ban.

"I felt like I have got a lot of things out of the way physically and emotionally and mentally last year," said Russian Sharapova.

"There was a lot of firsts again for me, playing the first tournament, first Grand Slam, and just different feelings and what it would be routinely.

"But it felt pretty routine today, just really happy to be back here."

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She will play Anastasija Sevastova in the second round. Latvian 14th seed Sevastova beat Sharapova in the last 16 of the US Open in September.

Sharapova, the former world number one who is now ranked 48, is looking to add to the Australian Open title she won in 2008.

She hit 22 winners to Maria's seven, but racked up 28 unforced errors and went a break down in the second set before recovering.

"We know it's only going to get tougher with every match you play," she added. "It's a challenge, but that's why it's a Grand Slam."

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