Sharapova overcomes Australian Groth in first round

New York: Former champion Maria Sharapova dropped the first set but fought back to claim a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 first-round victory over big-serving Australian Jarmila Groth at the US Open on Tuesday.

Groth, ranked 60th after reaching the fourth round at this year`s French and Wimbledon championships, hammered 13 winners in the first set as she applied constant pressure on the 23-year-old Russian.

As the match wore on, however, Sharapova extended the rallies and made Groth play more shots, inducing 20 unforced errors over the last two sets with the Australian committing 12 double faults in the same period.

Sharapova, the 2006 US Open winner, next meets Czech Iveta Benesova, who advanced past Nuria Llagostera Vives of Spain.

Bureau Report