Lawn Tennis
Maria Sharapova Wins In Amelia Island Debut
By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 10:25pm CST USA
Maria Sharapova Wins In Amelia Island Debut
Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP
AMELIA ISLAND--(lawntennismag.com) Top seeded Maria Sharapova of Russia returned Tuesday from a two week fatigue break and defeated Czech qualifier Barbora Strycova 6-1, 6-3 at the Bausch and Lomb Championships.

In only 70 minutes Sharapova overpowered Strycova. She rushed to an early lead after winning the last five games of set one.

"Coming into the match you really donít know what to expect because you know your opponent has already had a few matches on clay, and this is your first match," Sharapova said.


"Coming into the match you really don't know what to expect because you know your opponent has already had a few matches on clay, and this is your first match," Sharapova said.

"The most important thing today was just try to get used to the atmosphere on the court and also the opponent."

Sharapova, the Australian Open champion, served at 73 percent first serves while enjoying the stadium court.

"I love the stadium. I love how quaint everything is, the trees around the stadium," Sharapova said. "It's kind of homey. Usually the stadiums that we play in are huge and a lot bigger than this."

In the semifinals this weekend Sharapova could meet American and 16th seeded Lindsay Davenport or Czech and 3rd seeded Daniela Hantuchova.

Sharapova, 17-1 this year on the WTA Tour, won her first grand slam title in 2004 at age 17 at Wimbledon.

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