Former champions Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber turned on the style to sweep into the Australian Open second round today, but it was curtains for lanky Canadian Milos Raonic.
With temperatures heating up in Melbourne, the two Grand Slam winners wasted little time on court.
Sharapova, still working her way back from a 15-month ban for taking the performance-enhancing substance meldonium, showed glimpses of the tennis that made her a five-time major winner.
The 2008 Melbourne Park champion, now ranked 48, battled past Germany’s Tatjana Maria 6-1, 6-4 and will next play either 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia or American Varvara Lepchenko.
“I cherish these moments. I love it here,” said the Russian, who returned from her drugs ban in April last year.
“It’s been a couple of years and I wanted it to be really meaningful to me.”
Fellow former world number one Kerber, who won the tournament in 2016, was also impressive in dismissing Anna- Lena Friedsam 6-0, 6-4.
“2017, I have said goodbye already, I am not looking back,” she said after a forgettable last season that saw her relinquish