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Sharapova beats fellow Russian

Melbourne - Maria Sharapova showed no sign of discomfort as she dismantled fellow Russian Olga Puchkova 6-0, 6-0 to cruise into the second round of the Australian Open on Monday.

Having pulled out of warm-up tournaments after suffering pain in her neck and collarbone, second seed Sharapova appeared desperate for competition but was given little of it in a 55-minute rout.

Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return to compatriot Olga Puchkova during their women's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. Credit: Reuters

Sharapova had to save two break-points in her first service game but it was smooth sailing from then on, the 107th-ranked Puchkova collapsing in a hail of unforced errors.

Puchkova surrendered the match with a forehand that floated long as Sharapova set up a second-round match against Croatia's Petra Martic or Japan's Misaki Doi. - Reuters

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