LONDON, June 25 World number one Maria Sharapova made a brisk start to her Wimbledon campaign on Monday with a 6-2 6-3 defeat of Australian Anastasia Rodionova on Centre Court.
The top seed was 4-0 up with only a point dropped in the first set and made it 5-0 with equal ease before meeting some brief resistance, with Rodionova holding serve and then breaking for 5-2.
The first two games of the second set went with serve before the powerful Russian romped into a 5-1 lead.
Rodionova delayed the inevitable with a break for 5-2, and then held serve for 5-3, before the French Open champion reasserted herself and served out with an ace.
Sharapova, the champion in 2004, turned to wave and blow kisses at the crowd, who gave her a standing ovation, before departing after one hour 10 minutes on court.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Martyn Herman)