Sharapova beats Bacsinszky in first round of Shenzhen Open

SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Maria Sharapova returned to competitive tennis with a 6-2, 7-6 (3) win against Timea Bacsinszky in the first round of Shenzhen Open yesterday.

Sharapova cut short her campaign in September to recover from shoulder complaint. The fifth-seeded Russian, a semi-finalist here last year, hit 23 winners against the unseeded Swiss player.

Bacsinszky broke Sharapova’s serve early in the first set and went 2-0 up in the second set, but the Swiss player was also erratic with 11 unforced errors and four double faults.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, next faces 17-year-old Wang Xinyu. She defeated Xun Fang Ying 7-6 (3), 6-4 in an all-Chinese match.

Also in the first round, Ivana Jorovic of Serbia upset second-seeded Caroline Garcia of France 6-4, 6-2 and Alison Riske of the United States defeated number three Wang Qiang of China 6-3, 6-3.

Russian players Veronika Kudermetova and Ekaterina Alexandrova, and Ons Jabeur of Tunisia also reached the second round.