Maria Sharapova overcomes wobble to reach French Open second round

Maria Sharapova lost six games in a row and then won the next six as she got her return to the French Open off to a successful start.

The Russian appeared to be cruising at 6-1 3-1 ahead but Holland's Richel Hogenkamp suddenly had her on the ropes, taking the second set and racing 3-0 ahead in the decider.

But Sharapova rediscovered her game in the nick of time to reel off half-a-dozen games for a 6-1 4-6 6-3 victory.

It was an ultimately sweet moment for the two-time Paris champion.

This time last year Sharapova had recently returned from a 15-month doping ban, but had not built her ranking high enough to qualify and was not offered a wild card.

But 12 months later Sharapova is back in the world's top 30, seeded 28 at Roland Garros and a potential challenger for a third title.

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza got the better of Svetlana Kuznetsova in a first-round meeting of two former champions.

After a 90-minute rain interruption at 5-5 in the first set Muguruza, the 2016 winner, blew 2009 champion Kuznetsova away in the tie break and went on to win 7-6 (7/0) 6-2.


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