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Australian Open: Maria Sharapova Roars Into Third Round

Australian Open: Maria Sharapova Roars Into Third Round”

A 15-month doping ban after testing positive for meldonium - dating back to the 2016 Australian Open - forced the five-time major victor to skip last year's tournament.

Sharapova, still unseeded after returning from her 15-month doping ban, sees matches against the leading players as the best way to test her level.

"There was a lot of firsts again for me, playing the first tournament, first Grand Slam, and just different feelings and what it would be routinely". "I cherish these moments, I love it".

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were among those in action at the Australian Open on Tuesday, and they made it through the first round with straight-set wins over Aljaz Bedene and Donald Young, respectively.

And it seems that the scoreboard was rightly in Sharapova's favour as the Russian who came through with a 6-1, 6-4 win over her German opponent that lasted 78 minutes.

Djokovic won the first set 6-1 and was in overwhelming form going into the second, taking a 5-0 lead at one point with three breaks of serve.

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She broke through to win the Tianjin Open in October - her first title since 2015 - and enjoyed a run to the semi-final in Shenzhen to start the year.

Sharapova batted away questions as to whether it was appropriate she attend.

"I think it's going to be very interesting".

"Even though we're not feeling good, we can still find a way and eventually play good again, whereas others would struggle early on and it becomes more hard".

Madison Brengle of the United States lost to Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-1.

Things were much less comfortable for world number one Simona Halep against 17-year-old Australian wild card Destanee Aiava.

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Federer says such comebacks aren't as easy as he and his great rival make it look.

After nine of 10 American female players bowed out on day one - including Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams and CoCo Vandeweghe - Brengle could not stem the U.S. outflow as she succumbed 6-3, 6-1 to the British ninth seed.

The Romanian will take on Canada's Eugenie Bouchard in the second round after she beat Oceane Dodin 6-3, 7-6 (5).

German Andrea Petkovic won the final three games to beat two-time Wimbledon victor Petra Kvitova 6-3 4-6 10-8 in a thrilling first-round encounter, which lasted two hours and 52 minutes.

On the men's side, Sam Querrey was ousted after losing, 6-4, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-2, to the 80th-ranked Marton Fucsovics. Two other USA contenders, No. 8 Jack Sock and No. 16 John Isner, were among the first-round casualties Monday.

No 4-ranked Alexander Zverev and No 7 David Goffin advanced, but No 20 Roberto Bautista Agut lost to fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, a semifinalist here in 2009, and former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic lost 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (4) to Lukas Lacko.

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