Former champion Maria Sharapova earns winning start in Western & Southern Open

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Former champion Maria Sharapova defeated fellow wild card Alison Riske 6-3 7-6 (4) in the opening round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

It was the first outing in Ohio for the Russian in five years and a single break at 4-3 helped Sharapova wrap up the first set inside 46 minutes.

The second set saw more to-and-fro, with Riske, the world number 37, breaking for a 3-0 lead before missing the chance to go 5-2 up as Sharapova battled back.

The 2011 winner failed to convert a break and match point at 6-5 but converted her third match point in the tie-break to book her place in the second round where she will face number one seed Ash Barty.

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki fell at the first hurdle, going down 6-4 6-4 to Dayana Yastremska in just over 90 minutes, while Venus Williams also booked her place in the second round with a 7-5 6-2 win over American qualifier Lauren Davis.

Johanna Konta, seeded 14th, lost to Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson 6-3 3-6 7-5, wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Anastasija Sevastova 7-6 (3) 6-7 (4) 6-4, Iga Swiatek beat Caroline Garcia 7-6 (1) 6-1 and world number nine Aryna Sabalenka made light work of Petra Martic 6-1 6-4.

Also through to the second round are Maria Sakkari who saw off Camila Giorgi 6-3 6-0 in just over an hour, Veronika Kudermetova who beat Bernarda Pera 6-2 6-3, and Elise Mertens who defeated Caty McNally 7-5 6-0.

Completing the picture are Yulia Putintseva who spent nearly two and a half hours on court to defeat Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 7-6 (3) 6-3 and Aliaksandra Sasnovich who beat Australian qualifier Astra Sharma 6-1 4-6 6-1.

Copy provided by Press Association Sport

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