Sharapova survives scare at Pan Pacific Open

Updated: 29 September 2009 17:32 IST

Maria Sharapova began her campaign to reclaim the Pan Pacific Open title on Monday with victory over Francesca Schiavone of Italy.

Tokyo:

Maria Sharapova began her campaign to reclaim the Pan Pacific Open title on Monday with victory over Francesca Schiavone of Italy.

But the three-time Grand Slam champion was forced to come from a set down to eventually take the match 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 after two hours and 22 minutes at the Ariake Colosseum.

"I thought I did a good job of hanging in there because she was playing at a high level, some of the best tennis she has played against me in all of our match-ups before," said Sharapova, winner here in 2005.

"It was really important to stay patient. I did a good job fighting back," the 22-year-old said.

Sharapova on Tuesday will face Samantha Stosur of Australia, who downed American qualifier Alexa Glatch 7-5, 6-0.

The Russian returned to top-level tennis in May after a nine-month injury layoff during which she underwent surgery on her right shoulder.

"It's tough because I didn't really know what to expect because it was my first in my career, being out for so long," she said.

"What I learned is it takes a really long time.

"I am OK with it. I have a lot of passion about this sport. I certainly have the will to keep going even though challenges have certainly come out in front of me."

Sharapova said she looked forward to the off-season to sharpen her fitness and skills.

"Fingers crossed I am going to be able to put a lot of work on the court, spend a couple of months really working on my game, getting ready for the next year," she said.

Topics : Tennis Andy Roddick Lukas Dlouhy Rohan Bopanna Leander Paes Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi Maria Sharapova
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