Maria Sharapova has waltzed into the second round of the Australian Open, testing out her injured forearm in a 6-1 6-3 dismissal of Nao Hibino.
Sharapova pulled out of her Brisbane International title defence earlier this month after hurting her left arm in a practice session.
The Russian veteran, who won the Open in 2008 and finished runner-up in 2015, next faces world No.105 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus.
women’s seeds tumbled at the Australian Open on Monday, with former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki and American Sloane Stephens the biggest casualties of the women’s draw on the first day of the tournament.
Wozniacki claimed the first set 6-1 but Kazakh opponent Yulia Putintseva rallied in a marathon second set to win it in a tiebreak after 88 minutes before claiming the third set 6-4.
Stephens’ 36 unforced errors proved costly on her way to a 3-6 3-6 loss to Chinese qualifier Qiang Wang, who was playing in just her second grand slam.
The American had led the first set 3-1, but admitted it was “just one of those days” where nothing went right.
double Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova showed little sign of the illness that has been plaguing her to overcome Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum in straight sets at the Australian Open on the opening day.
The Czech sixth seed has had the worst possible lead-up to the year’s opening Grand Slam, with a gastro illness forcing her out of the Shenzhen Open and Sydney International, where she was defending champion.
SAM Stosur’s nightmare run Down Under continued at the Australian Open with the highest ranked Aussie female falling in the opening round to unseeded Kristyna Pliskova.
Serena Williams of the United States screams during her game
against Camila Giorgi of Italy on day one of their Australian Open
tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. The
Australian Open tennis tournament will go from the 18th of January
until the 31st of January 2016 and is Australia's foremost annual tennis
The number two Australian beat world number 53 Hradecka 7-6 (6-3), 6-4
to set up a second-round meeting with another Czech, sixth seed Petra