French Open 2015: Maria Sharapova makes winning start to title defence

Maria Sharapova beats Kaia Kanepi in straight sets as she began the defence of her French Open title in Paris

Maria Sharapova revealed that she has been struggling with illness after making a successful start to the defence of her French Open title.

The Russian second seed sealed a 6-2 6-4 win over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in the first round to set up a clash with Vitalia Diatchenko in round two.

“I’m getting over it, and hopefully it will pass by soon,” Sharapova said after the victory.

“”But obviously it was such a big occasion for me to be back out on center court, and I had a tough opponent ahead of me. And the conditions were pretty difficult as well. So I knew it wasn’t just going to depend on the tennis today.

“Overall I’m just happy I got through it and have a day off tomorrow – I should be better by then.”

Asked if there were any doubts about her playing in the second round, she replied: “I mean, unless I’m in my coffin, I’m going to be out there.”

Elsewhere, Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland lost 6-2 3-6 6-1 to Germany’s Annika Beck.

“It was really strange match,” said the 14th seed. “I start pretty slow and it was too late in that first set. Was much better in the second set.

“I thought I’m playing still my game in third set, but it just went too fast the other way.”

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