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Sharapova downs Halep in return to US Open

Updated: 2017-08-29 11:13

Sharapova downs Halep in return to US Open

Maria Sharapova of Russia in action against Simona Halep of Romania during their first round US Open match at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, Aug 28, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK - Maria Sharapova made an impressive return to Grand Slam tennis, beating No 2-seeded Simona Halep 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in the first round of the US Open.

Sharapova received a wild card to play in her first major tournament since returning from a 15-month doping ban. And she made the most of it, ripping 60 winners to Halep's 15 and wearing down the Romanian with punishing groundstrokes accented by loud grunts. She shrieked with joy when Halep hit a backhand long over the baseline to end the match.

Sharapova, whose five major titles include the 2006 US Open, next faces 59th-ranked Timea Babos of Hungary, who defeated Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland 7-5, 5-7, 7-5.

AP

Sharapova downs Halep in return to US Open

Simona Halep of Romania hits a forehand against Maria Sharapova of Russia (not pictured) on day one of the US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, Aug 28, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

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