Melbourne: Former world number one Maria Sharapova produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance in a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Thailand`s Tamarine Tanasugarn in the first round of the Australian Open Monday.
The 2008 Melbourne champion opened the match in embarrassing fashion, serving two double-faults and dropping the game to love.
However, she cranked up the volume and hit back immediately, some ferocious returning giving the Russian a love break and she continued trying to hit the fur off the ball, taking the first set in 25 minutes.
The three-times grand slam champion, who coughed up 10 double-faults, lost her way at the start of the second and had to fight back from 3-1 down.
The trademark Sharapova grunting grew louder as she dug deep, going up 5-3 with a scorching forehand and sealing the win with a crosscourt backhand for her first victory in Melbourne since winning the title in 2008.