Sharapova eases through in Rome
Second seed Maria Sharapova, winner of the last two editions, started with a 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Spain's Garbine Muguruza on Wednesday at the Italian Open in Rome.
"This is a meaningful tournament for me," Sharapova said.
"This is one of the tournaments I've won a couple of times, and I've also been playing here since I was really young."
No 3 Victoria Azarenka was equally untroubled by Julia Goerges beating the German 6-2, 6-0.
Former Roland Garros winner, and fifth seed, Li Na won a battle with Chinese countrywoman Zheng Jie 6-3, 6-1 while Australian ninth seed Samantha Stosur, the 2010 beaten finalist in Paris, beat China's Peng Shuai 7-6 (7/5), 6-0.