Maria Sharapova cruises in the Australian opener




Maria Sharapova dispelled any uncertainty over her fitness with a one sided win over fellow Russian Olga Puchkova at the Australian Open on Monday.

Maria Sharapova cruises in the Australian opener

Maria Sharapova cruises in the Australian opener

The World No. 2 Sharapova, who lost the Australian open final to Victoria Azarenka last year before going on to win the French Open, faced only two break points in the match and she saved both of those in the first game. Then she went on a 12-game roll that earned her a second “double bagel” inside a year.

Sharapova’s dominance was only threatened in the early stages when Puchkova, ranked 107 in the world, held two break points in the opening game but the second seed gave an early demonstration of her physical state with two booming aces to avert the danger.

The Russian was forced to pull out of the warm-up event in Brisbane after suffering a collarbone injury shortly before Christmasbut showed little discomfort as she blasted six aces and 18 winners in bright morning sunshine.

Sharapova started her run to the French Open title with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Alexandra Caduntu at Roland Garros last year. But she said the scoreline wasn’t really relevant.

“If you win 7-6 in the third, you’ve still won the match,” she said. “I don’t really think time matters and the scorelines.”
Against Puchkova, she said, “I didn’t want to focus on the fact I hadn’t played a lot of matches.”

Sharapova has a potential third-round match against Venus Williams, who needed just an hour for her opening 6-1, 6-0 win over Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan.

Sharapova’s 6-0 6-0 demolition of the hapless Puchkova at the Rod Laver Arena completed a ‘bagel slam’, having left opponents scoreless at the French Open, Wimbledon and the Flushing Meadows.

Already one of the most marketable figures in women’s tennis, Sharapova won the French Open last year to complete a career grand slam at the age of 25.

Despite barely approaching middle-age in tennis career terms, the glamorous Russian is already thinking about how to keep busy when she inevitably puts away her racquet.

Maria Sharapova has put a small fortune into her sweet making business but she might consider a sideline in baked treats after serving up Puchkova a double-bagel to cruise into the second round of the Australian Open on Monday.The second seeded Russian launched her premium-priced range of “Sugarpova” lollies in Melbourne on Friday, bringing her fledgling business Down Under after successfully introducing it to the United States.

“I think this is a business that will go beyond my tennis career and I’ve never really been the type of person that likes to sit still for a very long time,” Sharapova said at the launch of her ‘Sugarpova’ concern.

“When I’m done on the court, I’m brainstorming about different things.

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