Shara­pova cruises at Aus­tralian Open

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - PAGE 2 -

Maria Shara­pova got out of the heat as quickly as she could, need­ing just 63 min­utes to beat Bri­tish qual­i­fier Har­riet Dart 6-0, 6-0 on Mon­day in the first match on Rod Laver Arena at the Aus­tralian Open in Mel­bourne.

Shara­pova, who wore an ice col­lar dur­ing breaks to help stay cool, was mak­ing her 15th ap­pear­ance at the sea­son-open­ing ma­jor.

The only break point Shara­pova faced was when she dou­ble-faulted in the fifth game of the sec­ond set.

Dart, who de­scribed Shara­pova as her idol be­fore the match, lost in the first round at Wim­ble­don last year af­ter be­ing given a wild card in her only pre­vi­ous Grand Slam sin­gles ap­pear­ance.

Among the other seeded play­ers ad­vanc­ing were No. 11 Aryna Sa­balenka, who beat Anna Kalin­skaya 6-1, 6-4, No. 19 Caro­line Gar­cia, No. 29 Donna Ve­kic and No. 31 Pe­tra Mar­tic.

In­ter Mi­lan wins in empty sta­dium

In­ter Mi­lan eased into the quar­ter­fi­nals of the Ital­ian Cup, although none of its fans were present at San Siro to see the Ner­az­zurri crush sec­ond-divi­sion Ben­evento 6-2.

In­ter was forced to play the match be­hind closed doors as part of its pun­ish­ment for racist chant­ing in the Dec. 26 league match against Napoli.

“It’s not a match, it’s not foot­ball, it’s not en­ter­tain­ment,” In­ter coach Lu­ciano Spal­letti said. “So many fans have been pun­ished, we don’t want to play in this way . ... We need to find dif­fer­ent so­lu­tions.”

In­ter will face Lazio in the next round.

Barcelona for­ward Lionel Messi ex­tended his all-time Span­ish league scor­ing record to 400 goals with a sec­ond-half strike in a 3-0 win over Eibar. In all com­pe­ti­tions, Messi, 31, has scored 575 goals in 658 ap­pear­ances.

Mar­cus Rash­ford scored in the first half and David de Gea made 11 saves as Manch­ester United beat host Tot­ten­ham 1-0 in English Premier League play to im­prove to 6-0 since Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer re­placed Jose Mour­inho as the team’s coach. Sixth-place Manch­ester United moved to six points be­hind Chelsea for the fourth and fi­nal Cham­pi­ons League place.

An FA women’s cham­pi­onship match in Kent, Eng­land, be­tween Manch­ester United and Charl­ton was aban­doned in the 11th minute of play af­ter Charl­ton de­fender Char­lotte Kerr was hurt in a col­li­sion. Kerr was treated on the field and med­i­cal staff waited — re­port­edly for 30 min­utes — for an am­bu­lance to ar­rive. Charl­ton re­leased a state­ment say­ing Kerr’s con­di­tion had im­proved af­ter she was taken to the hospi­tal. Col­lege foot­ball: All-Amer­ica safety Deionte Thomp­son be­came the sixth Alabama player to an­nounce he is leav­ing school early to en­ter the NFL draft. He an­nounced his de­ci­sion on Twit­ter. Thomp­son recorded 79 tack­les, two in­ter­cep­tions and four forced fum­bles this sea­son. Ski­ing: In Adel­bo­den, Switzer­land, Aus­tria’s Mar­cel Hirscher won a World Cup slalom, his ninth ca­reer vic­tory on the course, to set a men’s record on the 52-year cir­cuit for most wins by one skier at a sin­gle venue. Hirscher fin­ished 0.50 of a sec­ond ahead of France’s Clement Noel. Obituary: For­mer Mi­ami Dol­phins guard Bob Kuechen­berg, a six-time Pro Bowl se­lec­tion and mem­ber of the only NFL team to achieve a per­fect sea­son, died Satur­day at age 71. Kuechen­berg, who played for Mi­ami from 1970 to 1983, started ev­ery game for the team that went 17-0 in 1972.

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