Maria Sharapova tastes victory again, good day for seeds in Madrid

Maria Sharapova won her first match since the Australian Open while Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki and Garbine Muguruza also advanced at the Madrid Open.

Five-time Grand Slam winner Sharapova has struggled since the Melbourne Grand Slam, losing three consecutive opening matches, but she was in good nick on the clay in the Spanish capital.

The Russian secured a 6-4, 6-1 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu from Romania.

Top seed Halep was way too good for Ekaterina Makarova as she lost only one game en route to a 6-1, 6-0 drubbing of the Russian.

“I was moving great. I felt the game. I like to play on this court. Always when I come back here, I feel a little bit more relaxed,” the Romanian said after her win.

“Maybe that’s why I can touch my best level every time I play. Hopefully I can keep it for the next round.”

Australian Open champion Wozniacki beat Daria Gavrilova 6-3, 6-1 to set an encounter against another Australian in Ashleigh Barty.

Third seed and current Wimbledon champion Muguruza beat Shuai Peng from China 6-4, 6-2 while ninth seed and reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens claimed a routine 6-3, 6-2 win over Silvia Soler Espinosa.

Meanwhile, Victoria Azarenka celebrated her return to European competition with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Aleksandra Krunic and the two-time Madrid Open winner, who is back on this side of the pond for the first time in two years, will face a tough second-round encounter as she is up against sixth seed Karolina Pliskova.

Just a day after winning the Prague Open, 10th seed Petra Kvitova continued her winning ways as she beat Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 6-1 while in the final game of the day Johanna Konta defeated 16th seed Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3, 7-5.