LONDON (June 25, 2012): World number one Maria Sharapova warned her Wimbledon rivals that she has no intention of resting on her laurels after sweeping into the second round with a straight sets victory on Monday.
Sharapova was playing for the first time since her French Open final victory over Sara Errani earlier this month and the Russian’s confidence was clearly sky high as she downed Australia’s Anastasia Rodionova 6-2, 6-3 in just 70 minutes.
The 25-year-old will face Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova, who reached the semi-finals in 2010, in the round of 64.
Sharapova’s triumph in Paris was a magical moment as it completed a career grand slam and capped her recovery from serious shoulder surgery that, at one stage, looked capable of wrecking her career.
But Sharapova, who won Wimbledon as a 17-year-old, still has unfinished business at the All England Club after losing last year’s final to Petra Kvitova.
Top seed Sharapova, who was back on Centre Court for the first time since then, is determined to ensure there are no regrets when she leaves Wimbledon this year.
Sharapova has always been a ferocious competitor and her drive to improve hasn’t faded now she is a grand slam winner once again.
She had routed Rodionova without dropping a single set in her four previous meetings with the world number 133 and this clash followed a familiar pattern.
Sharapova broke in the second game and pushed home her advantage with another break to move 5-0 ahead in just 15 minutes.
Rodionova, 30, finally got on the scoreboard in a sixth game that lasted nearly as long as the first five and then secured a break of her own.
But it was far too late to prevent Sharapova closing out the set and she continued in equally dominant mood in the second set.
The Russian landed the crucial break in the fourth game for a 3-1 lead and eased through in confident fashion. (AFP)