Mallorca Open: Sharapova wins on return from injury break, set for Kerber test

Maria Sharapova launched her comeback from a six-month injury lay-off via beating Viktoria Kuzmova 7-6(8) 6-0. She will face Angelique Kerber next in a standout second-round match.
1 :
Sharapova impressed in her first-round win over Viktoria Kuzmova
2 : Sharapova admitted there is plenty to work on however used to be inspired by her display
3 : Sharapova is “optimistic” and nothing felt “too sharp” in her shoulder throughout the match
After two weeks playing the delights of Mallorca it used to be time for enterprise for Maria Sharapova on Tuesday as she launched her comeback from a six-month damage lay-off in style.
The Russian five-times Grand Slam champion struggled for rhythm at the start on the low-bouncing grasscourt at the Mallorca Open however picked up the pace to beat Viktoria Kuzmova 7-6(8) 6-0.
It was once a small step for the 32-year-old who will face reigning Wimbledon champion and pinnacle seed Angelique Kerber in a standout second-round healthy at the Santa Ponsa Tennis Club.
Kerber, who suffered an ankle damage at some stage in the claycourt season and lost in the first round at the French Open, beat Belgian qualifier Ysaline Bonaventure 7-5 4-6 6-2.
Former world number one Sharapova admitted there is still a lot to work on but used to be stimulated by way of her display in negotiating a complex opening spherical — her first competitive in shape since the St Petersburg Open in January.
There were a few double faults in the first set however the right shoulder that has brought about her so a good deal bother in the previous and wished minor surgical procedure in February seemed to preserve up.
She saved two set points in the opener but allowed her opponent, ranked 39 locations greater than her at 46, solely six factors in the second as a massive crowd, which protected match referee Toni Nadal, watched underneath a blazing sun.
It was once the 2004 Wimbledon champion’s first win on grass for four years in only her 2d healthy on the floor in that time.
“It was fantastic to get a victory,” she advised reporters.
“It’s been a whilst considering that I’ve been out there so it felt actually true to go through a few matters I’ve labored on and get the arm into motion again. There’s a lot to work on however I had to start somewhere.”
Wildcard Sharapova stated she felt “optimistic” about the shoulder that needed minor surgical procedure in February and did now not experience something “too sharp” all through the match.
With rain falling some other place in Europe, Mallorca appeared a wise desire as a beginning point for a suspect shoulder however it was once not all clean for wildcard Sharapova against Kuzmova.
The Slovak broke to lead 6-5 in the first set as Sharapova served three double-faults. Sharapova broke returned immediately to pressure a tiebreak but had to fend off a set point at 6-7 and every other at 7-8 earlier than sealing the set when Kuzmova overlooked a forehand.
A assured Sharapova romped via the 2d set.
Victoria Azerenka, the 0.33 former world quantity one in motion on the day, was once crushed 1-6 6-4 7-5 through Caroline Garcia.

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