Maria Sharapova had to work hard against Ajla Tomljanovic on Thursday (December 19) before eventually sealing victory in straight sets (6-4 7-5) at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The women’s match at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Centre showcased five-time grand slam winner Sharapova against Australian Fed Cup winner Tomljanovic, and the contest didn’t disappoint.
A topsy-turvy first set featuring five breaks of serve eventually went the way of the Russian who came from 3-0 down to pinch it 6-4.
Tomljanovic raced into a 4-1 second-set lead with the match looking destined for a decider, but Sharapova came back superbly.
The 32-year-old, who hasn’t won a grand slam since the 2014 French Open, roared back and sealed a 6-4 7-5 victory in the first ever meeting between the pair.
Thursday was day one of the three-day Championships with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal set to grace the stage on Friday (December 20).
(Production: Elliot Richardson)