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Sharapova, Halep through in Shenzhen open
Last Updated: 2018-01-02 13:48 | Xinhua
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Former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova and world No. 1 Simona Halep kicked off their new year in a decent way as they both won by straight sets in the first round of WTA Shenzhen Open here on Monday.

The 30-year old Russian eased past Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu, 6-3, 6-0 after one hour and 22 minutes on court.

"Every match gets tougher and as a competitor and someone who tries to be realistic, I like to only look ahead to the next opponent," Sharapova said.

The five-time Grand Slam champion will face 2017 Shenzhen Open runner-up Alison Riske from the United States, who beat Chinese Wang Qiang on Sunday.

World No. 1 Simona Halep beat Nicole Gibbs from the United States 6-4, 6-1. The Romanian struck 12 winners with an aggressive forehand to clinch the victory in 69 minutes.

"It was a good match. I look forward to the next matches and hopefully I can become better and better," said Halep.

She will meet China's Duan Yingying in the second round, who overcame Evgeniya Rodina from Russia 6-2, 7-5.

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