Australian Open: Maria Sharapova hands Harriet Dart a double bagel in campaign opener

File photo of Maria Sharapova. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team Melbourne VIC, Australia Jan 14, 2019, 08.01 AM (IST)

Former world No.1 Maria Sharapova took just 63 minutes to beat British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-0, 6-0 in the first match on Rod Laver Arena at this year’s Australian Open on Monday.

While handing a double bagel to Dart, the 2008 champion and 30th seed wrapped up the first set in just 31 minutes.

Sharapova, who wore an ice collar during breaks to help alleviate the 30 degree Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) temperature in Melbourne, was making her 15th appearance at the season-opening major.

She will next play Swede Rebecca Peterson for a place in the third round.

The only break point Sharapova faced was when she double-faulted in the fifth game of the second set. 

During the game, the Russian player also became the first player to be hit with a time violation in her straight sets win over Britain's Harriet Dart. 

While 4-0 up in the first set, Sharapova received a warning after exceeding the new 25-second time limit before serving.

The shot clock is not only designed to speed up the play but to also make sure that the understanding of time violations remains consistent between players and umpires.

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Sharapova, the 2008 champion and 30th seed, wrapped up the first set in just 31 minutes. She will next play Swede Rebecca Peterson for a place in the third round.