Maria Sharapova delighted with victory at US Open following illness


Maria Sharapova was delighted to get her US Open campaign under way with a comfortable first-round victory after being laid low by illness since the Olympics.

The Russian had already begun to feel the effects of a stomach bug when she was trounced by Serena Williams in the gold medal match at Wimbledon and missed the tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati.

She revealed she even had tests to make sure she was not pregnant but has now recovered and was untroubled in a 6-2 6-2 victory over Hungary's Melinda Czink on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Sharapova said: "I was just happy to be back playing a competitive match. It's been a few weeks. It was a nice break in a way but, after so many weeks of practising, you're just eager to get back on the court.

"The tournament almost seems a little bit easier because the practice is a little bit shorter getting ready to play matches. It's so much better than having practice weeks.

"But I was happy with the way I came out. I'd never played my opponent before. Conditions weren't exactly perfect. Overall I played steady, but there's room for improvement, that's for sure."

Sharapova won the US Open in 2006 but since then has never made it past the third round, something she is dearly hoping to change this year.

The third seed said: "I haven't been past the first week in a long time. I would love to get that back. I haven't played at a level that I wanted to play here.

"There shouldn't be any reason why I can't, having the success that I had for a few years, winning it in 2006. That's certainly something that I'm looking to get back."

In the first match of the day, defending champion Sam Stosur began her campaign in style, winning the first 19 points in a 6-1 6-1 victory over Croatia's Petra Martic.

The Australian, a brilliant winner over Serena Williams 12 months ago, admitted the prospect of a rare golden set - winning every point - had briefly crossed her mind.

She said: "I knew at 4-0, 40-0 that I hadn't missed a point and the match had been going pretty quick and obviously in my favour.

"It did pop into my head for a split second. Then I hit the double fault and it was erased and I was quickly on with the next point."

She added: "It was great to get out there again. I felt like I was ready to go. First match up, first day, was a good start. I probably carried on from exactly how I was feeling last year. Hopefully that's a good omen."

The two form players of the north American hard-court swing, fifth seed Petra Kvitova and ninth seed Li Na, both won their opening matches.

Kvitova has won titles in Montreal and New Haven in the past month, the latter on Saturday, so it was perhaps not surprising she found the hot and humid conditions heavy going in a 7-6 (8/6) 6-1 victory over Polona Hercog.

China's Li, the finalist in Montreal and winner in Cincinnati last weekend, continued her fine form in a 6-2 6-3 victory over British number one Heather Watson.

The 30-year-old has recently started working with Justine Henin's former coach Carlos Rodriguez instead of husband Jiang Shan.

She said: "After I got a new coach I think for both me and my husband it was much, much easier. Love is love, coach is coach. You have to separate."

Wimbledon quarter-finalist Sabine Lisicki and Julia Goerges both crashed out, with 16th seed Lisicki losing 4-6 6-2 6-2 to Romania's Sorana Cirstea and 18th seed Goerges going down 7-6 (7/4) 6-1 to Czech Kristyna Pliskova.

To complete a bad day for Germany, Andrea Petkovic, playing her first grand slam of the year after knee and ankle injuries, lost 6-2 7-5 to Swiss Romina Oprandi.

There were wins for seeds Marion Bartoli, Lucie Safarova, Varvara Lepchenko and Nadia Petrova, but Anabel Medina Garrigues lost to Lucie Hradecka.


Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot