MX23RW : Wednesday, November 21 14:41:09

Result: Maria Sharapova proves too strong for Timea Bacsinszky

Maria Sharapova overcomes the challenge of Timea Bacsinszky to book her place in the second round of the Madrid Open.

Maria Sharapova got her Madrid Open title defence off to a flying start by overcoming a difficult test against a resurgent Timea Bacsinszky in the opening round.

The world number three served strongly throughout, and she was able to break her opponent early on to race into a comfortable 5-1 lead in the opening set.

Bacsinszky made her opponent battle hard to wrap things up in a tightly-contested final game, but the Russian made no mistake to take the set.

The second set proved to be equally as straightforward for Sharapova, who held her serve after grabbing a foothold in the contest in the eighth game to secure her passage through to the second round with a 6-2 6-3 triumph.

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Simona Halep of Romania celebrates winning her fourth round match against Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium during day seven of the 2015 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 25, 2015
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