WTA Tour

Pavlyuchenkova off to near-perfect start in Shenzhen

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (AFP)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (AFP)

Beijing - Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova got off to sizzling start as she beat Ana Bogdan of Romania 6-0, 6-1 in just 53 minutes at the Shenzhen Open on Sunday.

"I couldn't be more happy or more pleased with how I started this season - well, almost, there's still two days to go," Pavlyuchenkova said after the match. "It's always tough to start the season after a long break when we haven't played matches for a long time.

The world number 42 will next face either Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu, or a qualifier who has yet to be determined.

Maria Sharapova will also be returning to competitive tennis at the Shenzhen Open with her debut game against Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky on Monday.

The WTA World number 29 was forced to cut her 2018 campaign short in September to recover from a shoulder complaint.

"It's been a long recovery from the shoulder injury. Maybe for the first few matches I won't feel great and I will need to improve with every match I play," Sharapova said during a visit to the Shenzhen MSU-BIT University prior to the tournament.

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