Maria Sharapova recovered from a shaky opening to defeat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 in the first round of the Madrid Open on Sunday, getting off to a good start in her second tournament since returning from a doping ban.
Sharapova took control of the match after struggling early against the 20th-ranked Lucic-Baroni, cruising to victory in the final set after more than two hours on the center court in Madrid.
Sharapova had 16 winners and only 10 unforced errors in her opening-round victory, her fourth since a controversial return to tennis.
It was Sharapova’s fifth match since a 15-month ban for testing positive for meldonium at last year’s Australian Open. She played her first tournament after the ban in Stuttgart last month, being eliminated in the semifinals.