SHARaPOVA STARTS WITH A ROUT
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.