MELBOURNE Jan 14 Maria Sharapova showed no sign of discomfort as she dismantled fellow Russian Olga Puchkova 6-0 6-0 to cruise into the second round of the Australian Open on Monday.
Having pulled out of warm-up tournaments after suffering pain in her neck and collarbone, second seed Sharapova appeared desperate for competition but was given little of it in a 55-minute rout.
Sharapova had to save two break-points in her first service game but it was smooth sailing from then on, the 107th-ranked Puchkova collapsing in a hail of unforced errors.
Puchkova surrendered the match with a forehand that floated long as Sharapova set up a second-round match against Croatia's Petra Martic or Japan's Misaki Doi.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Patrick Johnston)