WARSAW,May 18 – Maria Sharapova returned to competitive singles play Monday with a three-set victory in the first round of the $600,000 Warsaw Open in Poland.Sharapova was ranked No. 1 in the world last May but suffered a shoulder injury that led her to have rotator cuff surgery and kept her off the court since last August. Her ranking fell to No. 126 by Monday, when she returned with a 6-1, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 win over Tathiana Garbin.
Sharapova failed to convert three match points in the second set and was rusty, as shown by nine double faults.
Eighth-seeded Alona Bondarenko had the most impressive showing Monday, winning 6-0, 6-0 over Katarzyna Piter. Bondarenko dropped just 18 points over the course of the match.
Also Monday, No. 3-seeded Zheng Jie defeated Olga Govortsova 4-6, 7-6 (7-0), 6-3 but fourth-seeded Aleksandra Wozniak fell 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 to Julia Goerges. Also losing in the first round were seventh-seeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who dropped a 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) decision to Anne Keothavong and No. 9-seeded Tsvetana Pironkova, who was beaten 7-5, 6-2 by Kateryna Bondarenko.
Local-favorite Marta Domachowska advanced 6-2, 6-1 at the expense of Akgul Amanmuradova.