Sharapova rallies to move on in Montreal
Maria Sharapova of Russia returns a shot to Garbine Muguruza of Spain during the Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium on August 6, 2014 in Montreal, Canada - by Streeter Lecka
The fourth-seeded former world number one fought back to beat the rising Spanish talent 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to set up a meeting with another Spaniard, Carla Suarez Navarro, who was a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 winner over Czech Karolina Pliskova.
Sharapova, playing her first match since a surprise fourth-round exit at Wimbledon, was a runner-up at this event in 2009 when it was held in Toronto.
She was pleased to get her campaign off to a winning start against a player who won her first career singles title at Hobart this year and has four career wins over top-10 players on her resume.
"It's been a few weeks since I've been in that competitive atmosphere," Sharapova noted. "It's always quite different, no matter how much you train, you try to prepare for that.
"Once you step on the court, you feel a little bit more from the crowd, the energy. You get inspired by everything. But you're ultimately a bit rusty.
"I was just happy that I got through that and won today because I had a very tough opponent."
Sharapova had rallied from a set and 5-4 down to beat Muguruza in the quarter-finals of the French Open.
This time, too, Muguruza gained the early momentum, going up a set and a break before the Russian superstar stormed back, winning four of five games to force a third set that she dominated.
"I was happy that I was able to turn it around," Sharapova said. "I didn't feel good. I made a lot of errors in the first set. When you're able to finish stronger than your start, that's always a positive because you give yourself an opportunity to keep playing in the tournament."
Meanwhile, sixth-seeded German left-hander Angelique Kerber made short work of France's Caroline Garcia 6-4, 6-1 and 11th-seeded former world number one Caroline Wozniacki steamrolled Czech Klara Koukalova 6-1, 6-2.
Kerber has reached, and lost, four finals this season, including losing last week to Serena Williams in the final at Stanford on Sunday.
Williams, the world number one and top seed, was in action later Wednesday, taking on Australian Samantha Stosur in a second round match.
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, the second seed, was to take on Aussie Casey Dellacqua.
In other second-round action involving seeded players, British qualifier Heather Watson ousted 10th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/5).