Wimbledon 2013: Sharapova pleased to overcome Mladenovic test

Wimbledon 2013: Third seed Maria Sharapova admits she is pleased to beat a "tough" first-round opponent in Katrina Mladenovic

maria sharapova
Maria Sharapova won the 2004 title at Wimbledon Photo: Marianne Bevis

Maria Sharapova put her feud with Serena Williams behind her after overcoming Katrina Mladenovic 7-6 6-3 on the opening day of Wimbledon.

The French world number 37 made life difficult for the 2004 winner throughout the first-round encounter with some huge serves and hard-hitting play.

And Sharapova, seeded third at SW19, admitted she expected Mladenovic to provide a tough test as the Russian returned to competitive action following her French Open final loss.

“I had a really tough first round. I expected it. I knew she would come out playing extremely well,” said Sharapova.

“I think she has a good game for the grass courts. She has a very good serve, good first serve.”

After a first set without a break, Sharapova eventually came through the tie break 7-5 and the second set was easier for the third seed as she served out the match following the decisive break at 3-1.

And the long-awaited break of serve was a huge relief for Sharapova.

“You know, the first set we didn’t break each other. In women’s tennis, it’s kind of rare,” she continued.

“It was nice to get that breaker and definitely start the second set off being up 4-1, still having chances to maybe finish it off a bit easier than it should have been in the second.”

Sharapova will now face qualifier Michelle Larhcer de Brito in the second round and was happy to have her tough opening round out of the way.

“I’m really happy with the way I came out and played my first match. The first ones are always pretty tough, especially on the grass,” she added.

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