Wimbledon - Sharapova eases through, Azarenka survives injury scare to progress

Third seed Maria Sharapova beat Kristina Mladenovic 7-6(5) 6-3 to move into the second round at Wimbledon on Monday but had to work hard to end the resistance of her French opponent.

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Maria Sharapova in action against France's Kristina Mladenovic (PA Photos)

Sharapova, champion in 2004 and losing finalist in 2011, was taken to a tie-break in the first set before stepping on the gas and pulling away in the second.

The 26-year-old Russian will face either Portugal's Michelle Larcher De Brito or Melanie Oudin of the United States in the next round.

Second seed Victoria Azarenka fought through the pain barrier after a nasty fall to beat Maria Joao Koehler 6-1 6-2 to reach the second round of Wimbledon on Monday.

The Belarussian had cruised through the first set against the Portuguese world number 106 and was one point away from going 2-0 up in the second when she slipped behind the baseline while trying to reach a shot and almost did the splits.

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Azarenka screamed in agony as she lay on the grass, with some spectators taking a moment to realise the noise was real pain rather than the usual shrieks that accompany her every shot, and she received treatment there before taking a medical timeout.

Her right knee was strapped and she walked gingerly back to continue the match, serving two double faults immediately before eventually losing the game.

Hobbling between shots and unable to run for anything that landed away from where she was standing, Azarenka looked relieved when she won the match thanks to the errors of Koehler who failed to capitalise on her opponent's lack of mobility.

Twelfth seed Ana Ivanovic fared well on Court Two as she saw off France's Virginie Razzano 7-6(1) 6-0.

Fifth seed Sara Errani was out-gunned in the Wimbledon first round on Monday by a teenager playing her first senior match on grass - Puerto Rican Monica Puig.

The hard-hitting, Miami-based Puig, ranked 65th in the world, battered the Italian to win 6-3 6-2 on Court 18.

Errani, a finalist at the French Open last year and a semi-finalist there earlier this month, saved six match points but ran out of puff and answers to the 19-year-old Puig's relentless attacks.

Puig, who reached the third round here as a junior in 2010 but had never played a senior grand slam before this year's French Open, goes on to play unseeded Spaniard Silvia Soler-Espinosa.

Errani, too, lives to fight another day, as one half of the top-seeded doubles team with compatriot Roberta Vinci.

First-round results:

2-Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) beat Maria Joao Koehler (Portugal) 6-1 6-2

3-Maria Sharapova (Russia) beat Kristina Mladenovic (France) 7-6(5) 6-3

Monica Puig (Puerto Rico) beat 5-Sara Errani (Italy) 6-3 6-2

8-Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic) beat Coco Vandeweghe (U.S.) 6-1 5-7 6-4

9-Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) beat Estrella Cabeza Candela (Spain) 6-0 6-2

12-Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) beat Virginie Razzano (France) 7-6(1) 6-0

15-Marion Bartoli (France) beat Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) 6-3 7-5

16-Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) beat Johanna Konta (Britain) 6-2 7-5

17-Sloane Stephens (U.S.) beat Jamie Hampton (U.S.) 6-3 6-3

19-Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) beat Lourdes Dominguez Lino (Spain) 6-2 6-2

20-Kirsten Flipkens (Belgium) beat Yulia Putintseva (Kazakhstan) 7-5 6-4

22-Sorana Cirstea (Romania) beat Stefanie Voegele (Switzerland) 7-5 7-6(3)

25-Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) beat Johanna Larsson (Sweden) 6-3 6-3

Eva Birnerova (Czech Republic) beat 26-Varvara Lepchenko (U.S.) 6-2 4-6 6-4

27-Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) beat Lauren Davis (U.S.) 6-4 6-0

29-Alize Cornet (France) beat Vania King (U.S.) 4-6 6-3 6-1

Silvia Soler Espinosa (Spain) beat Misaki Doi (Japan) 1-6 6-4 6-1

Flavia Pennetta (Italy) beat Elena Baltacha (Britain) 6-4 6-1

Karin Knapp (Italy) beat Lucie Hradecka (Czech Republic) 6-3 6-4

Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine) beat Lara Arruabarrena Vecino (Spain) 6-1 6-3

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (Croatia) beat Sofia Arvidsson (Sweden) 6-1 6-4

Eugenie Bouchard (Canada) beat Galina Voskoboeva (Kazakhstan) 5-7 7-6(5) 6-4

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (Croatia) beat Sofia Arvidsson (Sweden) 6-1 6-4

Hsieh Su-Wei (Taiwan) beat Tatjana Maria (Germany) 6-1 6-0

Camila Giorgi (Italy) beat Samantha Murray (Britain) 6-3 6-4

Vesna Dolonc (Serbia) beat Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium) 3-6 6-2 6-4

Michelle Larcher de Brito (Portugal) beat Melanie Oudin (U.S.) 7-6(7) 1-6 6-4

Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan) beat Kiki Bertens (Netherlands) 6-4 6-3

Andrea Petkovic (Germany) beat Pauline Parmentier (France) 6-3 6-2

Petra Cetkovska (Czech Republic) beat Donna Vekic (Croatia) 6-3 6-1

Christina Mchale (U.S.) beat Alexa Glatch (U.S.) 6-4 6-4

Garbine Muguruza Blanco (Spain) beat Anne Keothavong (Britain) 6-4 6-0

Bojana Jovanovski (Serbia) beat Ajla Tomljanovic (Croatia) 3-6 6-1 9-7

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