MARIA Sharapova has expertly avoided the Australian Open’s stunning first-day rash of upsets with a thunderous win over Croat Petra Martic.Faced with the 184th-ranked qualifier, Sharapova needed only 86 minutes to notch a 6-4 6-1 victory on Rod Laver Arena.
Chasing her second Melbourne Park title, Sharapova improved her overall record at the Open to 43-10 with 26 winners and six aces.
“The conditions were a little different tonight, I made too many unforced errors,” the world No.2 Russian said.
I had a great start in Brisbane, winning the title for the first time in my career.
“I had good preparation for here, so I’m pleased to get through that match.”