Maria has played and won her first match at the St. Petersburg Ladies Open in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In her first round match, Maria defeated Daria Gavrilova of Australia 6-0 6-4 in an hour and 47 minutes.
Maria won her third 6-0 set of 2018 in the first set against Gavrilova. The second set was closer as Gavrilova got the first break of serve to lead 4-2. Immediately in the next game, Maria broke the Australian with a forehand winner down-the-line to get the set back on serve and again to serve for the set at 5-4. A forehand winner gave Maria her third consecutive win over Gavrilova as she advanced to the second round in Russia’s second biggest city.
After the win, Maria said:
“I am very pleased to visit St. Petersburg for the first time in my life. I honestly wanted to come here, but there was no possibility to come here earlier. I am glad that the Russian people cheered for me. I know when I play at home, I am strongly and warmly supported by the fans. For me it means a lot to win a match in homeland after so many years.”
In the second round, Maria will play no.3 seed Daria Kasatkina of Russia. Maria has played the 21-year-old once before in the second round in Montreal in 2018 and won 6-0 6-2.