Former WTA World No. 1 Maria Sharapova made a successful comeback from injury at the Bank of the West Classic as she beats hometown favorite American Jennifer Brady.
Sharapova outlasted Brady with a comfortable 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 in three sets to advance in the next round in Stanford.
“I feel like I just want to hug everyone and say thank you. It’s my first match in the States in a really long time and it’s the closest thing to home for me. The welcome has been incredible and finally playing so close to home was really special.” Sharapova said during her on-court interview.
The five-time Grand Slam champion, who is ranked No. 171 in the world, finished the match after two hours and two minutes on court.
Sharapova last played a hard-court tournament in North America over two years ago at the 2015 Miami Open, accepting a wildcard into the first tournament of the US Open Series after a thigh injury derailed her clay and grass court seasons.
“It’s my first match in the States in a really long time, and it’s the closest thing to home for me.” Sharapova added
The 30-year-old Russian is set to play Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine in the second round of the tournament.
PHOTO CREDIT: ESPN