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Maria Sharapova advances to U.S. Open's second round

August 27, 2012|By Diane Pucin
  • Maria Sharapova returns a shot during her first-round match against Melinda Czink.
Maria Sharapova returns a shot during her first-round match against Melinda… (Al Bello / Getty Images )

NEW YORK — Maria Sharapova hadn’t played a tennis match since she lost to Serena Williams, winning only a game at the Olympics with the gold medal on the line. And it might have seemed Sharapova had been mostly absent in London against Williams as well.

But Monday on Arthur Ashe Stadium Court at the U.S. Open, Sharapova was regally dominant. She beat Hungarian veteran Melinda Czink, 6-2, 6-2. She had a seven-game winning streak against Czink and won 12 of 13 points during one stretch.

Sharapova had pulled out of all the North American hard-court warmups after the Olympics, suffering from a virus.

"It’s great to be back here," Sharapova said. "I’m just happy to get back on the court and play a match. It’s been a few weeks."

It took Sharapova 1 hour 7 minutes to beat the 29-year-old Czink and she wasn't troubled by the swirling wind on the big-show court.

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