Maria Sharapova opened her Australian Open campaign in fine fettle with no signs of her collarbone injury, steamrollering past a hapless Olga Putchcova, her Russian countrywoman, 6-0 6-0, in a match that lasted just fifty five minutes on the Rod Laver Arena. This is the third time in her career that Sharapova has won by a double bagel in a Grand Slam – the first was in the third round of the US Open in 2010 against Beatrice Capra; and the second was in the 2012 French Open, over Alexandra Cadantu.
Venus Williams also made a great start in Day 1 play on the Hisense Arena. Seeded at number 25, she took on Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan and dismissed the 80th ranked player in short order, 6-1 6-0, in exactly 60 minutes on court. The final analysis showed the Williams simply outplayed her 29 year old opponent in every aspect of the game, giving her absolutely no chance of getting into the match.
Former world number one and seeded at number 22, Serbian Jelena Jankovic took to Show Court 3 to play Johanna Larsson of Sweden, who has had a few good wins to her name. Jankovic has had an up and down time of things of late and seems to have lost confidence in her game, but on Monday she had no such problems, winning 6-2 6-2 in 77 minutes. Although the Swede had the faster serve and won more of the net points, the Serb had better stats in all the other areas.