Madrid’s altitude posed some problems for Sharapova


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Maria Sharapova overcome shaky start to hurdle Alexandra Dulgheru 7-5, 6-2 in Madrid Open.

Maria Sharapova shrugged off a shaky first set to hurdle Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 7-5, 6-2 and advance to the second round of the Madrid Open on Monday.

The second-seeded Russian revealed she was still adjusting to the altitude and changing weather conditions in the Spanish capital after bagging the crown in Stuttgart last weekend. Madrid is 2,180 feet above sea level.

Sharapova, 26, said she was ”really happy that I got that break back in the first set,” and dominated the second.

The top-seeded players in the men’s draw, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, have a bye into the second round.

Britain’s Laura Robson and Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro posted big first-round upset victories when they stunned fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and ninth-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur.

World number 41 Robson, trimmed Radwanska 6-3, 6-1 on the clay at the Magic Box arena and 23rd-ranked Suarez Navarro clipped Stosur 7-6, 6-2 to delight the home crowd with her seventh career victory over a top-10 player.

Third-seeded Belarussian Victoria Azarenka nipped Russian Anastasia Pavlvuchenkova 7-6, 7-6.

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