WTA Championship: Maria Sharapova beats Sara Errani in Istanbul opener
Maria Sharapova made a winning start to her WTA Championship campaign with a straight sets defeat of Sara Errani.
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH
Last Updated: 24/10/12 12:02pm
Former champion Sharapova struck early in both sets to emerge with a 6-3 6-2 success in an hour and 31 minutes on court in Turkey.
Sharapova broke serve four times during the match whilst she lost her own serve just once, in the first set, and did not face a break point in the second as she moved into a gear Errani simply could not keep pace with.
Errani was broken in her very first service game as she started slowly on her tournament debut, but she showed her trademark grit and determination to break back and close to 3-2 behind.
However, that joy was short-lived as Russian superstar Sharapova broke back immediately to restore her advantage and saw it out on serve to claim the set.
The diminutive Errani was broken again in the very first game of the second set to be rocked onto the back foot immediately, and Sharapova needed no second invitation to pile on the pressure.
Another break followed and although Errani again showed guts to hold and force Sharapova to serve it out, she had no problem in doing so to make a winning start to her White Group campaign.
Next up will be a battle of the two winners as Sharapova meets Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, who earlier beat Petra Kvitova, in their next match.