June 24, 2013 / 3:47 PM / 4 years ago

Sharapova battles into Wimbledon second round

Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after defeating Kristina Mladenovic of France in their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 24, 2013.Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) - Third seed Maria Sharapova beat Kristina Mladenovic 7-6(5) 6-3 to move into the second round at Wimbledon on Monday but had to work hard to end the resistance of her French opponent.

Sharapova, champion in 2004 and losing finalist in 2011, was taken to a tiebreak in the first set before stepping on the gas and pulling away in the second.

The 26-year-old Russian will face either Portugal's Michelle Larcher De Brito or Melanie Oudin of the United States in the next round.

Reporting by Toby Davis

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