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Australian Open Recap (Women): Top Seed Halep, Sharapova Into Second Round

World number one and top seed Simona Halep is through to the next round after she saw off teenage wildcard Destanee Aiava in their first round clash.

The Romanian tennis star defeated the 17-year-old Australian 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 after medical timeouts for both players.

She will now face Canadian Eugenie Bouchard in the second round.

Former world number one and five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has also qualified for the Australian Open second round following her straight-set win over Tatjana Maria of Germany.

Sharapova, 30, defeated the world number 47 6-1 6-4 on the Margaret Court Arena in what was her first match at Melbourne since failing a drugs test during the 2016 edition thus leading to a 15-month ban.

Speaking after her victory, the Russian said: “I felt like I have got a lot of things out of the way physically and emotionally and mentally last year.”

“There was a lot of firsts again for me, playing the first tournament, first Grand Slam, and just different feelings and what it would be routinely.

“But it felt pretty routine today, just really happy to be back here.” she added.

World number 48 Sharapova will play Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in the second round as she bids to avenge the last 16 US Open defeat she suffered at the hands of the 14th seed.

Speaking further about her quest for a second Australian Open title, Sharapova said: “We know it’s only going to get tougher with every match you play.”

“It’s a challenge, but that’s why it’s a Grand Slam.” she concluded.

Andrea Petkovic is through to the second round after her 6-3 6-4 10-8 win over Czech 27th seed Petra Kvitova after an 88-minute final set.

2016 champion Angelique Kerber will face Donna Vekic of Croatia in the second round after she saw off German Anna-Lena Friedsam in their first round clash.

The win made it 10 successive wins for Kerber in the new year.

Sixth seed Karolina Pliskova and eighth seed Carolina Garcia have also booked their respective places in the second round.

Czech star Pliskova defeated Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay 6-3 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena in their first round clash while French eighth seed Garcia beat Carina Witthoeft of Germany 7-5 6-3 and will face Czech Marketa Vondrousova in the next round.

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