Elena Vesnina

Maria Sharapova wins first match after returning from suspension

Maria Sharapova wins first match after returning from suspension

Looking relieved, Maria Sharapova waved to the crowd and blew kisses after winning her first match on her return from a 15-month doping ban on Wednesday.

The five-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 beat Roberta Vinci 7-5, 6-3 in the opening round of the Porsche Grand Prix.

Sharapova had earlier been given a lukewarm welcome by the 4,500 spectators, receiving a polite applause and some whistling when she entered the sold-out arena.

“It was the best feeling in the world,” Sharapova said about finally stepping on court again for a professional match. “I have been waiting for this a long time.”

Sharapova said she had “a pretty normal life” and “grew as a...

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