MOSCOW, December 30 (R-Sport) – World No. 4 Maria Sharapova stormed to a straight-sets win over Caroline Garcia in the first round of the Brisbane International on Monday, showing no signs of the shoulder injury that has kept her off the court since August.
The Russian tennis star took just over an hour to defeat her 74th-ranked opponent 6-3, 6-0 and progress to the second round of the 2014 season-opening tournament.
Sharapova, 26, demonstrated her usual aggressive style, landing 26 winners against Garcia’s 11 and making only 10 unforced errors.
She will now face Australian qualifier Ashley Barty, who eliminated 33th-ranked Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 7-5.
Elsewhere, in an all-Russian tie, world No. 26 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova stuttered past qualifier Alla Kudryavtseva 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3. She will now take on either fifth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany or Kristina Mladenovic of France.
In the men’s draw, seventh seed Dmitry Tursunov lost 7-5, 6-4 in the first round to Sam Querrey of the United States.
The Brisbane International carries a $1 million prize fund for the women’s event and $436,630 for the men. Serena Williams tops the women's seeds with Roger Federer leading the men.