Maria is the last player through to the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia after she triumphed over Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States. Maria won 6-3 6-4 in her first Grand Slam match since June.
Under the lights, Maria raced into a 4-0 lead in the first set but Mattek-Sands got one of the breaks back to trail 2-4. Maria composed herself and won two of the three games and won the set on a forehand crosscourt winner.
In the third game of the second set, Maria got the first break with a forehand winner. Mattek-Sands broke Maria’s serve in the sixth game to level the set 3-3. At 4-4, Maria broke when Mattek-Sands double-faulted and wrapped up victory on her next service game to book her spot in the last 64.
In Thursday’s second round match, Maria will play world no.44 Karin Knapp of Italy. Maria has played the 26-year-old once before at the French Open in 2008 and won 7-6 6-0.