Sharapova triumphs in Tianjin opener
TIANJIN – Agence France-Presse
Seeded ninth, Begu loomed as a tricky first-round opponent for Sharapova, but the former world number one from Russia swept to a 6-4, 6-2 victory.
Currently ranked 86th after returning from a 15-month doping ban, Sharapova -- granted a wildcard in Tianjin -- plays unseeded Magda Linette of Poland next.
The five-time Grand Slam winner exited the China Open last week in the third round at the hands of Romania's Simona Halep, the newly crowned world number one.
But Sharapova had no such trouble against Begu, seeing off the 57th-ranked Romanian in 82 minutes.
The opening matches of the Tianjin Open have been badly disrupted because of rain.