Two former No. 1s headlined women’s play Monday in Rome. Maria Sharapova continued her comeback with a scratchy 6-4, 6-2 victory over American Christina McHale.
McHale was up in the first set three times with a break lead, but couldn’t hold off the Russian.
“The conditions are quite different to Madrid, so I felt like the adjustment was really important,” said Sharapova who converted 7/14 break chances. “I also played a different type of opponent that stood back a few feet behind the baseline, makes you play another ball. It certainly took a few more games than I would’ve liked to get used to but once I did, I felt like I took care of the second set quite well.”
Sharapova now gets a rematch with Mirjana Lucic-Baroni on Tuesday. Sharapova beat the Croat in three last week in Madrid.
“Every week is important and I treat every match,” Sharapova said. “I might’ve not played my best tennis but I set up an opportunity to play another match, and hopefully improve in that match, and that’s what I need.”
Venus Williams won on in the evening and she toughed out a 6-4, 7-6 win over Yaroslava Shvedova.
“She’s a tricky opponent and I haven’t played in a number of weeks, so it’s always tough to get back on your feet,” said Venus.
Venus moves on to face Lesia Tsurenko on Wednesday.
Also, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova ousted former French Open finalist Sam Stosur.
On Tuesday, Madison Keys meets Daria Gavrilova and Svetlana Kuznetsova, Johanna Konta and Kristina Mladenovic are also in action.
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