Maria Sharapova recovered from a shaky opening to defeat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 4-6 6-4 6-0 in the first round of the Madrid Open, getting off to a good start in her second tournament since returning from a doping ban.

Sharapova took control of the match after struggling early against the 20th-ranked Lucic-Baroni, cruising to victory in the final set after more than two hours on court.

Sharapova had 16 winners and only 10 unforced errors in her opening-round victory, her fourth since a controversial return to tennis.

The Russian was broken three times in the first set, but only once the rest of the match at the claycourt tournament.

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Sharapova said it was "extremely important" to get the opening-round victory.