Aus Open: Sharapova lives to fight another day

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Maria Sharapova
Melbourne, Jan 17: Maria Sharapova, overcame a few jittery moments before finally beating Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-1, 6-3 to roll into the 2nd round of the Australian Open 2011. It was the Russian's first victory at the Australian Open since winning the title in 2008.

Sharapova, the world's highest paid sportswoman, began the match in a disastrous manner dispensing two double-faults and dropping the game to love. But she came back well through some brutal returns that gave her a love-break and eventually took the first set in 25 minutes.

Ten double-faults twanged from the racquet of Sharapova before her blazing ground strokes ensured a move into the 2nd round.

"I was definitely a little bit nervous in the first game," said Sharapova the winner of three grand slam trophies.

The Russian lass, credited her new coach Thomas Hogstedt for the victory and said, "I like the work ethic that's he's brought." She previously worked with coach Michael Joyce for six years.

Dressed in a grey frock with a splash of orange across her frontage, Sharapova lived up tp her reputation of a style icon. Her immaculate sense of fashion has always drawn comparisons with Anna Kournikova, who for her all her initial promises ended up without a grand slam title.

Sharapova seems to have recovered well from her shoulder troubles which prevented her from participating in the 2009 event. If the former World No.1 can hit her strides then the women's segment of Australian Open 2011 will turn out to be a tough competition.

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