MONTREAL: Maria Sharapova fired 25 winners past hapless Russian compatriot Daria Kasatkina in a 6-0, 6-2 victory at the rain-hit Montreal WTA event on Wednesday, but Angelique Kerber’s first match since capturing the Wimbledon title ended in a sobering defeat.
Sharapova needed just 66 minutes to see off 12th-seeded Kasatkina in an impressive and timely display of big-hitting, with the US Open getting underway in just under three weeks’ time. “I came on court having a lot of respect for my opponent because she’s up and coming but has already established herself,” said the 31-year-old Sharapova. “I knew I had a tough match ahead of me. I was focused from the beginning and I finished it that way.”
Kasatkina, 21, managed just three winners in the match. Play was suspended before the start of Wednesday’s night matches because of rain, resulting in four contests being added to Thursday’s schedule. World number one Simona Halep will now play Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second match on court central followed by second seeded Caroline Wozniacki in her second round match against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.