Published: Tue, May 09, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Sharapova wins but adds to mystery

With Sharapova still getting her tennis legs back under her, she will take on Ekaterina Makarova in the second round at the WTA Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.

Williams, who has just regained the world number one slot, revealed last week that she is expecting her first baby and will not play again this year.

"It was the best feeling in the world", Sharapova said about stepping on a court again for a professional match. "The first few seconds before you enter the arena it's been a stage of mine since I was a young girl-I've been waiting for this moment for a long time".

"I know it's tough to return after a long time, " Vinci said.

The International Tennis Federation announced in June 2016 that Sharapova had been banned from tennis for two years after she tested positive for banned substance meldonium ahead of the Australian Open.

Vinci lost all four sets and scored only four games in total during her two previous matches against Sharapova, but those were played on hardcourt, 10 and five years ago, respectively.

Sharapova initially received a lukewarm response from the crowd before polite applause, as well as whistling were heard.

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The 30-year-old Russian, three-time victor on Stuttgart's clay courts, received a controversial wild card for the German tournament, having had no ranking points after more than a year out following her suspension.

Elite Canadian player Eugenie Bouchard also criticized Sharapova's inclusion in the tournament.

Sharapova, a three-time victor of the clay court tournament, sealed straight sets win by taking the second 6-3.

Maria Sharapova celebrates her comeback win.

"You have to look at how other leagues and tours have handled players who have come back", Simon told BBC Sport.

Vinci was one of those who said Sharapova should not have been given a wildcard in Stuttgart, but the Russian made it clear she will make no effort to build bridges in the locker room at tournaments with anyone who criticized her. "She's had a year-and-a-half". "There are people in the stands who bought a ticket and they are going to watch you play, and so you have to show them what you're capable of doing". She overcame Roberta Vinci of Italy 7-5 6-3.

"So I don't think that's right".

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