Indian Wells - Russian Maria Sharapova made a strong start to her Indian Wells WTA title defence on Saturday with a 6-1, 6-4, victory over Julia Goerges.
Sharapova, seeded fourth, needed just 66 minutes to get past the unseeded German on the Stadium Court of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Although she had seven double-faults, she didn't face a break point as she advanced her bid to add a third title in the California desert to go with those she won last year and in 2006.
The former world number one and four-time Grand Slam champion's 2013 campaign was cut short in August by a shoulder injury that ruled her out of the US Open.
Currently ranked fifth in the world, Sharapova is playing her fourth tournament of the year but has yet to reach a final.
She took a break from tennis in February to attend the Sochi Winter Olympics, where she was a torchbearer and worked for US broadcaster NBC.
"The first matches are always a little bit tricky, especially having not played in a few weeks indoor or outdoor," she said.
"Tricky opponent, and she's capable of playing good tennis.
"She hasn't been as consistent as she probably would have liked recently, but she's had her results.
"I thought I did what I had to do," Sharapova said.
Sharapova next faces Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi, a 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 winner over 25th-seeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea.
Results on Saturday from the ATP Masters and WTA BNP Paribas Open (x denotes seeding):
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Radek Stepanek (CZE) 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR x28) bt Tim Smyczek (USA) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4
Gael Monfils (FRA x23) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-2, 6-4
Fabio Fognini (ITA) bt Ryan Harrison (USA) 5-7, 6-1, 6-4
Milos Raonic (CAN x10) bt Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 7-6 (7/2)
Alejandro Falla (COL) bt Jerzy Janowicz (POL x18) 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7/5)
Jiri Vesely (CZE) bt Pablo Andujar (ESP x32) 6-1, 2-6, 6-1
Andy Murray (GBR x5) bt Lukas Rosol (CZE) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x3) bt Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 6-3, 7-5
Andreas Seppi (ITA x29) bt Sam Querrey (USA) 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3
Kevin Anderson (RSA x17) bt Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) bt Michael Russell (USA) 6-4, 6-3
Tommy Haas (GER x11) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-3, 6-4
Kei Nishikori (JPN x19) bt Santiago Giraldo (COL) 6-1, 6-3
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS x27) bt Juan Monaco (ARG) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4
Roger Federer (SUI x7) bt Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) 6-2, 7-6 (7/5)
Li Na (CHN x1) bt Zheng Jie (CHN) 6-1, 7-5
Karolina Pliskova (CZE) bt Klara Zakopalova (CZE x28) 7-5, 6-2
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x21) bt Caroline Garcia (FRA) 6-4, 7-5
Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) bt Sabine Lisicki (GER x15) 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7/5)
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x12) bt Donna Vekic (CRO) 6-3, 6-2
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS x23) bt Monica Niculescu (ROM) 5-7, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x27) bt Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 6-3, 6-3
Petra Kvitova (CZE x8) bt Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 6-1, 6-3
Maria Sharapova (RUS x4) bt Julia Goerges (GER) 6-1, 6-4
Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Sorana Cirstea (ROM x25) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3
Flavia Pennetta (ITA x20) bt Taylor Townsend (USA) 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3
Samantha Stosur (AUS x16) bt Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 6-2, 6-3
Ana Ivanovic (SRB x11) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR) 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/1)
Sloane Stephens (USA x17) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) 6-4, 6-0
Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) bt Garbine Muguruza (ESP x32) 6-3, 6-2
Maria Teresa Torro (ESP) bt Angelique Kerber (GER x5) 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4