STUTTGART, Germany - Maria Sharapova put down a comprehensive win over 2015 US Open runner-up Roberta Vinci, 7-5, 6-3, to reach the second round at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
"It's the best feeling in the world," she said during her on-court interview. "The first few seconds before you enter the arena - it's been a stage of mine since I was a young girl - I've been waiting for this moment for a long time."
Headlining Wednesday's night session in Stuttgart, Sharapova overcame early rust and an early break to hit through a fiesty Vinci, striking an impressive 11 aces and 39 winners in the one hour, 43 minute clash.
"I’ve been working on all aspects of my game and serve was definitely one of them," she said in her post-match press conference. "I didn’t change it too much, maybe a few things in the rhythm but not extremely. You know getting the ball toss more consistent is certainly one of the goals."
"It's good for tennis that she's come back," the Italian veteran said in her post-match press conference. "She played good, agressive, very solid.
"The court was really fast and it was difficult to move. I had some chances in the first set, but she was better than me in those moments. She played good, and is a great player. Very focused."
Awaiting the three-time champion in the round of 16 is fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who upset No.7 seed Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets on Tuesday.
"She's a lefty. I think every match no matter who I play is important for me. It's important to play points, games, sets, it's important for me."
More to come...