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Sharapova at home on grass

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:33

The 22-year-old Russian only recently returned from a 10-month absence because of a shoulder injury but appears to be rediscovering some of her old form.

She dispatched Dubois 6-4 6-2 in 74 minutes at a venue where she has previously lifted the title in 2004 – the year she won Wimbledon – and 2005.

“I thought I did a really good job of getting into the groove of playing on grass again,” said Sharapova, whose performance at Roland Garros saw her rise back up the world rankings to 73.

“My goal was to get used to the grass and my opponent, who I hadn’t played before. I have tremendous memories from here. It seems that the fans have grown up with me here as I have played here since I was younger. That’s one of the reasons why I keep coming back.”

British number six Naomi Cavaday was also a winner on the opening day, beating American Julie Ditty 6-2 7-6 (7/2).

The Kent 20-year-old, 297th in the world, took command against a player ranked 177 places higher, and 10 years older, when she broke Ditty’s serve in the fifth game of the opening set.

Mel South came out on top against Katie O’Brien in the clash between Britain’s number four and number three.

Having taken the first set 6-4, the 23-year-old lost 6-1 in the next but eventually prevailed 7-5 in the final-set tie-break.

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