Sharapova beats Mladenovic in Wimbledon's 1st Rd

Associated Press
Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after winning the first set against Kristina Mladenovic of France during their Women's first round singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Monday, June 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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LONDON (AP) — Done with her pre-tournament verbal volleying with Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova improved to 11-0 in first-round matches at Wimbledon by beating 37th-ranked Kristina Mladenovic of France 7-6 (5), 6-3 Monday.

The third-seeded Sharapova, who won her first Grand Slam title at the All England Club in 2004, struggled through the opening set. But at 5-all in the tiebreaker, Sharapova hit a cross-court backhand winner to earn a set point, which she quickly converted with an over-the-shoulder backhand volley winner off Mladenovic's lob.

Sharapova drew attention over the weekend by delivering a sharp news-conference rebuke to Williams over critical comments attributed to the top-seeded American in a recent magazine article.

Williams has won their last 13 head-to-head matches, including the French Open final this month.

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