Today at Warsaw Open, Maria Sharapova was playing her first singles match since August 2008 and the much-missed three-time Grand Slam champion won 6-1 6-7(6) 6-3 against Tathiana Garbin of Italy.
The 22-year-old Russian has seen her world ranking slump to No.126 during her absence because of a shoulder injury. It wasn't too encouraging, but even today she wore a criss-crossed bandage on her right shoulder.
Sharapova secured her place in the second round of the claycourt tournament despite being taken to the deciding set. Wild card Sharapova looked well on her way to win the match, having four match points at 5-3 and 40-0 in the ninth game of the second set, but she allowed the 68th-ranked Garbin to extend the set and take the tiebreak 8-6. However, Sharapova had energy left and even came back from 3-1 down in the decider to eventually seal victory.
Sharapova’s opponent in the second round of the Warsaw Open was expected to be top seed Caroline Wozniacki, but the Dane has withdrawn today with back injury.
"I really wanted to play here in Warsaw. I know I have a lot of polish fans but I have had this back injury for two weeks," said Wozniacki. "The physiotherapist told me that if I want to be able to accomplish anything at the French Open I have to take a break so that my condition does not get any worse."
Sharapova’s next opponent will be one of the lucky losers: either Lenka Tvaroskova or Darya Kustova.
By the way, as always with Maria, we have to mention her outfit. I like this one, too. The color reminds me of spring and summer fruits and ice-cream. The design is also cute. (photo: Ralf Reinecke)