Sports / Tennis

Sharapova wins 1st-round match at Australian Open

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-01-19 20:42

Sharapova wins 1st-round match at Australian Open

Russia's Maria Sharapova hits a return against Petra Martic of Croatia during her women's singles first round match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 19, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

MELBOURNE, Australia - Second-seeded Maria Sharapova concluded an opening day of matches on Rod Laver Arena with a 6-4, 6-1 win Monday over Croatian player Petra Martic at the Australian Open.

Sharapova, who began the season by winning the Brisbane International title, broke Martic's service in the last game of the opening set and then dominated the second. She'll play fellow Russian Alexandra Panova, a qualifier, in the second round.

Last year, Sharapova reached the fourth round at three Grand Slam tournaments - the Australian Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open - along with winning her fifth career major at the French Open.

A successful title run at Melbourne Park could see Sharapova supplant Serena Williams at No. 1.

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