SHARa­POVA STARTS WITH A ROUT

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS -

Maria Shara­pova has the sec­ond-best record among ac­tive play­ers in firstround matches at the ma­jors, and she gave an il­lus­tra­tion of why that’s the case with a ruth­less 6-0, 6-0 win over Har­riet Dart at the Aus­tralian Open. The 2008 Aus­tralian Open cham­pion got play started on Rod Laver Arena on Mon­day and needed only 63 min­utes to ad­vance. In her 15th trip to Mel­bourne Park and her 55th Grand Slam tour­na­ment, she’s acutely aware of the toll that the sun and long early matches can have on a player’s ti­tle am­bi­tions, so she gets straight to busi­ness. The 22-year-old Dart, play­ing in the main draw of a ma­jor for only the sec­ond time, only got a look at one break point in the match — when Shara­pova served a dou­ble-fault in the sec­ond set. She got seven of her 29 points from Shara­pova’s dou­ble-faults.

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