Australian Open 2018: Maria Sharapova sees off Anastasija Sevastova

2018 Australian Open first round preview Tatjana Maria vs Maria Sharapova

"So third round of the Australian Open, I think I deserve to smile out there after that victory".

A 15-month doping ban after testing positive for meldonium - dating back to the 2016 Australian Open - forced the five-time major victor to skip last year's tournament.

For Maria Sharapova, it was a case of revenge being served hot as she fended off her U.S. Open conqueror Anastasija Sevastova 6-1 7-6 (4) under a blazing sun to reach the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday.

She celebrated by twirling, waving and blowing kisses to the crowd.

"It's been a couple of years since I've been back here - obviously, I wanted to enjoy the moment", the 2008 Australian Open champion and three-time runner-up said. "I'm happy I dodged some questions there".

Her ranking slid into the 20s in 2017, but she's coming back into the kind of form which makes her a title contender.

"I get shivers", said Sharapova.

"I'm hoping for it to go well again. I never contemplated retiring but when I was a teenager I never thought I'd play past 30 years old.I thought I'd win a few tournaments and then have a family".

Djokovic tweaked his service motion while recovering from an injured right elbow, and used it to good effect in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over Donald Young, who saved four match points on his own serve but was out in the next game.




French eighth seed Caroline Garcia took 90 minutes to defeat Germany's Carina Witthoeft, winning 7-5, 6-3.

Bautista Agut lost to fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, a semifinalist here in 2009, and Raonic lost 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (4) to Lukas Lacko in the opening match on Show Court 2.

On the men's side, Sam Querrey was ousted after losing, 6-4, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-2, to the 80th-ranked Marton Fucsovics. Two other USA contenders, No. 8 Jack Sock and No. 16 John Isner, were among the first-round casualties on Monday.

American Madison Keys, the U.S. Open runner-up, moved into the second round with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Wang Qiang.

Brengle's loss is the tenth for American women at this year's tournament that included the elimination of Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens on Monday.

Ninth-seeded Johanna Konta was more exposed to the heat on an outside court, and lost to USA lucky loser Bernarda Pera 6-4, 7-5.

German Andrea Petkovic won the final three games to beat two-time Wimbledon victor Petra Kvitova 6-3 4-6 10-8 in a thrilling first-round encounter, which lasted two hours and 52 minutes.

Zverev (4) and Thiem (5) got the job done in three sets - the latter smashing 48 winners, including a ridiculous shot through his legs, against Guido Pella - but seventh seed Goffin, a quarter-finalist previous year, needed four to see off Matthias Bachinger.

But it was no doubt a reaffirming afternoon for one of tennis's true champions, who was still debating whether he was healthy enough to play in this major tournament when the new year began and he had not played a genuine match since last July at Wimbledon.

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