Sharapova, Halep through at Shenzhen Open

Xinhua Published: 2018-01-01 21:22:34
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Former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova and current world No. 1 Simona Halep kicked off their new year in a decent way as they both won in straight sets in the first round of the WTA Shenzhen Open on Monday.

Maria Sharapova returns a shot to Mihaela Buzarnescu during their match in the opening round of the Shenzhen Open on January 1, 2018. [Photo: VCG]

Maria Sharapova returns a shot to Mihaela Buzarnescu during their match in the opening round of the Shenzhen Open on January 1, 2018. [Photo: VCG]

The 30-year old Russian eased past Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu, 6-3, 6-0 after one hour and 22 minutes on court.

"Every match gets tougher and as a competitor and someone who tries to be realistic, I like to only look ahead to the next opponent," Sharapova said.

The five-time Grand Slam champion will face 2017 Shenzhen Open runner-up Alison Riske from the United States, who beat Chinese Wang Qiang on Sunday. 

Simona Halep returns a shot to Nicole Gibbs during their match in the opening round of the Shenzhen Open on January 1, 2018. [Photo: VCG]

Simona Halep returns a shot to Nicole Gibbs during their match in the opening round of the Shenzhen Open on January 1, 2018. [Photo: VCG]

World No. 1 Simona Halep beat Nicole Gibbs from the United States 6-4, 6-1. The Romanian struck 12 winners with an aggressive forehand to clinch the victory in 69 minutes.

"It was a good match. I look forward to the next matches and hopefully I can become better and better," said Halep.

She will meet China's Duan Yingying in the second round, who overcame Evgeniya Rodina from Russia 6-2, 7-5. 

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