"It's been a few months since I've been out of playing competitively", Maria Sharapova said sincerely. But she had to go through being kind of dodgy on her serves at the beginning of the match and then trailing 2-0 to give herself a pep talk and get into a higher gear to accomplish a first set win of 6-2.
Bacsinszky was slicing up Sharapova in the first couple of games and cross courting her to gain leading points. "Come on Maria", fans yelled and visibly shook held up signs to get the Russian going. It world and she did get one game on the scoreboard which gave her the confidence to start making her wins at the corners of the court, gaining concern on the face of her Swiss opponent.
Sharapova felt her composure and expertise come in as a sliced drop shot scored levelling the games at 2-all. This was the pinnacle of the Russian controlling and dictating shots reeling off winners and seeing Bacsinszky starting her unforced errors.
Sharapova had the support of the fans and with gaining confidence, she had the recipe for an opening set win. But the second set Bacsinszky didn't want to go down easy. She maintained her consistency on winning the first few games, teasing the Russian as to how the match might go.
At 3-1, the Swiss lady gave a sliced forehand to Sharapova making her stumble and a net return resulted. This is when things got scary for the Russian who might have been chilly to have her black tights on and long sleeves but with experience, Sharapova knew she had to make her move or see a first-round loss in her early season.
Things started blurring when the score was 5-all and it wasn't so much as if Sharapova could do the thing, but when. The 'when' finally came when she pushed into a tiebreak and lead at 6-3 in points. It took a Bacsinszky challenge to prove Sharapova the winner as she threw kisses to the crowd which helped her out emotionally.
"It was a difficult opponent, tough conditions...it was great practice for me", she said smilingly. The fans screamed and yelled like it was 'the ole Maria Sharapova' of yesteryears and she appreciated it greatly saying "I have to thank the fans.
This is quite special to see...Thank you". She mentioned that this is her only warm-up event before the Australian Open and she reassured her fans and the interviewer saying "I'll do my best to make the most out of it".