Maria Sharapova Victorious Over Vinci In Return From Drug Ban
by Staff | April 27th, 2017, 12:35 am

Playing in her first match after serving a 15-month doping ban, Maria Sharapova returned a winner Wednesday in Stuttgart. The Russian former No. 1 overcame a 2-0 first set start to defeat Roberta 7-5, 6-3.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Sharapova said.

“I don’t know what type of expectations I had,” she added. “I’ve been visualizing it and thinking about it, but I don’t know. I think I was very much in the moment today. I was really happy when I woke up this morning and I was smiling and I was excited about the opportunity of coming on site and practicing and then going and playing a match, something that I had for so many years in my career. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew that being out there was what I meant to be doing.”

The 36th-ranked Vinci, who wasn’t pleased Sharapova was awarded a wildcard into the event, credited her opponent in the end.

“I lost. She had a wildcard. She won. She’s happy, I’m so sad, but that’s it,” Vinci said. “I don’t want to think about the wildcard. I’m done.”

“She’s a great player,” Vinci went on. “I know she’s coming back after a long time but she’s coming back not after an injury. She practiced a lot at home and she really focused today, really aggressive. I tried my best but it was difficult, especially when I was on serve. She was always aggressive. That’s it. She played good and probably she deserved to win.”

And she said the global attention on the match was quite different.

“It was tough to focus before this match,” said Vinci. “Of course there was a lot of pressure. I see Facebook, Instagram, always put Sharapova-Vinci, first match. It was tough for me to stay focused. It was difficult to think about another thing to try to stay focused on my game.”

Sharapova finished with 11 aces, 3 double faults, 39 winners, 21 unforced and she held her last nine service games. She’ll move on to meet fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova tomorrow.

“I have been waiting for this a long time,” Sharapova said.

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6 Comments for Maria Sharapova Victorious Over Vinci In Return From Drug Ban

Wog Boy Says:

” She played good and probably she deserved to win.”

“Probably”, you gotta be joking, she beat you in two breaking you twice in each set and you say probably?!
Good job Maria, and you received standing ovations from Germans at the end, respect for Germans🙏👍

HJF Says:

Not a fan, but i think Maria should be left alone to play her tennis, and other players should concentrate on their games or lack of .

Lyle nubbins Says:

Agree she has been punished, leave her alone now…would not mind a fine for the obnoxious grunts but that’s a different subject :)

HJF Says:

^Or the taking forever between points ^ .

RZ Says:

If Maria can get past Makarova in her next match, she has an excellent chance to win this tournament, especially with Muguruza and Kuznetsova losing, and Kerber 2017 not being anywhere close to Kerber 2016. Halep is still in, though.

Danica Says:

Maria beat Makarova more soundly than Vinci the sore loser. Well done Maria and welcome back.

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