Sharapova comfortable as she starts latest Rome defence
Maria Sharapova picked up an emphatic victory over Garbine Muguruza to open her Rome Masters campaign on Wednesday.
The Russian, fresh off disappointment in the final of the Madrid Open, needed just 64 minutes to clinch a 6-2 6-2 success against the Spaniard.
In a dominant serving performance, Sharapova lost just eight points on her own delivery - setting her up for a comfortable triumph.
"She is a rising player from Spain and is playing well, and the conditions were windy out there, but I was able to adjust and win this match," Sharapova said. "I knew going into the match I needed to be sharp and as quick as possible, and I did a few specific things well out there, and that's about it."
Looking for her third successive win in Rome, Sharapova is hoping to deliver for her fans come the end of the tournament.
She added: "This is one of the tournaments I've won a couple of times, and I've also been playing here since I was really young. The crowds here are so enthusiastic and give me so much support, so it just feels great to be out on the court here."
Elsewhere, there were victories for seeds Sara Errani, Victoria Azarenka, Samantha Stosur and Li Na.