Sharapova digs deep in comeback match

Maria Sharapova played her first tour singles match in nearly 10 months yesterday, and needed nine match points to finish off Tathiana Garbin of Italy 6-1 6-7 (6) 6-3 in the first round of the Warsaw Open.

"I certainly had desire to win my first match back," the Russian said. "I'm hungry, I haven't played for a while and I want it really bad and sometimes I actually have to stop myself at times and tell myself to be patient."



Sharapova, who last played a singles match in July after being sidelined with a torn rotator cuff in her right shoulder, wore a bandage on the arm but said the shoulder didn't bother her.



She cruised through the first set and grabbed a quick 4-0 lead in the second before her serve started to falter. Serving at 5-3, she wasted four match points - double faulting on two of them - and then failed to convert two more in the tie-break before netting a forehand to give the set to Garbin.



"I created some good opportunities, and played really well in the first set and at the start of the second, but I was definitely a little bit nervous closing that second set out," Sharapova said.



In the third, the Russian dropped an early break before rallying with her trademark groundstrokes to overpower the Italian. Sharapova held serve to go up 5-3, then converted her third match point when Garbin knocked a backhand long.



"When you haven't been there, haven't done that in a while it throws you off a little bit, and then there you are after nine months and you have an opportunity to win your first match back, and you start thinking of everything that's gone on and you kind of lose the present time," Sharapova said.



Once ranked No 1 in the world, Sharapova's ranking has slid to No 126 since her injury forced her to miss the last two Grand Slams.



"Although these nine months have been pretty difficult, I've definitely had to test out my patience," Sharapova said.



"In these nine months the only thing I've accomplished is probably a good pasta carbonara," she added. "At the end of the day that's not my specialty, my specialty is to go out and compete and win Grand Slams."



Sharapova refused to speculate about next week's French Open, saying she was only thinking about Warsaw this week. But she stressed that playing matches was the only way to return to her championship form.



"I've been absent for so long, and I've said it many times, you can do so many things, you can practice and you can play practice matches, but it's never the same as going out and playing in a tournament, and I think that's what I'll need," she said.



"I've played millions of matches in my career, and I'll play millions more, and I think right now it's just going to be getting that experience back and the thought process on the court and doing the right things to finish the match."



In other first round action, Marta Domachowska of Poland beat Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan, 6-2 6-1; Anne Keothavong of Britain downed Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States, 6-2 7-6 (4); Jie Zheng of China beat Olga Govortsova of Belarus, 4-6 7-6 (0) 6-3; Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine beat Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, 7-5 6-2; Julia Goerges of Germany downed Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 7-6 (5) 6-3; and Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine eliminated Katarzyna Piter of Poland 6-0 6-0.

This story was sourced from The New Zealand Herald.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee