Sharapova makes winning return in Stanford

Making her return from injury, Maria Sharapova overcame Jennifer Brady in the Bank of the West Classic first round.

Maria Sharapova was handed a wildcard for the WTA event.   -  Getty Images

Maria Sharapova made a solid return from injury, getting through her opening match at the Bank of the West Classic on Monday.

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The Russian, in action for the first time since since May, was too good for American Jennifer Brady 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 at the WTA Premier event.

Sharapova, who made her return from a doping ban in April, was handed a wildcard into the tournament and needed two hours, two minutes to get past Brady in Stanford.


After breaking serve four times in the opening set, Sharapova – the 2010 runner-up – quickly fell behind 3-0 in the second, and while the five-time Grand Slam champion recovered briefly, Brady forced a decider.

But Sharapova took control once more in the third set, breaking three times to advance.

Meanwhile, seeds Ana Konjuh and Lesia Tsurenko were comfortable in the first round. Konjuh held a 6-3, 1-0 lead over Marina Erakovic when the qualifier from New Zealand retired.

Tsurenko made it three straight-sets wins from as many meetings with Lara Arruabarrena courtesy of a 6-3, 6-3 victory and the Ukrainian will face Sharapova.

Talented American Kayla Day, 17, cruised past Misaki Doi 6-4, 6-2 and Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva was too good for qualifier Danielle Lao 6-4, 6-3.

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