MOSCOW, June 18. /TASS/. Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has returned playing after an almost five-month break with a straight sets win on Tuesday in the first round of the 2019 Mallorca Open tournament in Spain.
Sharapova, who was granted a wildcard for the tournament, defeated Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova 7-6 (10-8); 6-0. The Russian is set to meet in the next round the winner of the 1st round clash between Germany’s Angelique Kerber and Ysaline Bonaventure from Belgium.
"It's my first win in about three or four months," the official website of the Women Tennis Association (WTA) quoted Sharapova as saying. "It's great to be here in Mallorca; what a great place to train and have a warm-up tournament. It's been amazing for all of us here, and it's just been nice to experience it for the first time."
The Russian hit the tennis courts last time in January. In the opening round of the WTA tournament in Russia’s Saint Petersburg on January 28, Sharapova defeated Daria Gavrilova of Australia and was set to face her compatriot Daria Kasatkina in the following round, but she withdrew from the tournament citing a shoulder injury.
Sharapova, who turned 32 in April, is Russia’s most decorated tennis player having won a total of five Grand Slam tournaments, namely the Australian Open in 2008, the French Open in 2012 and 2014, Wimbledon in 2004 and the US Open in 2006. She also clinched the silver in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and was the 2008 Federations Cup champion.
In 2018, Sharapova participated in 11 tennis tournaments, including four Grand Slam competitions. Her best results last season were the semifinals of the tournaments in China’s Shenzhen and Italy’s Rome.
Playing at the Grand Slam tournaments last year Sharapova reached the third round of the Australian Open, the quarterfinals of the Roland-Garros in France, was knocked out in the opening round at the Wimbledon and reached the fourth round stage of the US Open.
At the opening tournament of the Grand Slam series this year, the 2019 Australian Open, Sharapova managed to reach the 4th round, where she suffered a defeat of 6-4; 1-6; 4-6 to Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.