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Short Work For Sharapova

Maria Sharapova was on top of her game, winning her Memphis opener in 51 minutes.

Published February 15, 2010 12:00

Short Work For Sharapova
Maria Sharapova

MEMPHIS, TN, USA - Maria Sharapova made a winning start to her Cellular South Cup campaign - and got on the board for the season - on Monday night, crushing Shenay Perry in front of a full house in 51 minutes, 60 62.

Sharapova, who lost in the first round of the Australian Open, is playing her second tournament of the year here in Memphis. And she really fulfilled her duties as the No.1 seed in her opener, losing just three points on her first serve and breaking Perry six times en route to the lopsided victory.

"It's just the beginning of the season, so right now I'm really trying to build with each match and work on my game," Sharapova said. "I don't think any match is easy. You still have to go out and win the match. Today wasn't easy."

This is Sharapova's second time playing in Memphis - her first appearance came six years ago, just a few months before she broke through at Wimbledon with her first Grand Slam title. In Memphis that year she made the semifinals.

"Not many players knew my game back then," Sharapova said of her 2004 run here. "Now they know my game better, but it's important not to worry about who your opponent is. I try to focus on playing my best each and every match."

There were mixed results for the other seeds in action, with No.3 seed Kaia Kanepi winning but No.6 seed Kristina Barrois falling handily to Anne Keothavong, a semifinalist at this tournament last year, 61 63.

Michelle Larcher de Brito, Michaella Krajicek, qualifiers Sofia Arvidsson and Valérie Tétreault and wildcard Ajla Tomljanovic also advanced.

The first round wraps up Tuesday with No.2 seed Melanie Oudin in action.

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