The 2012 champion is looking to win this tournament for a second time after losing last year’s final to Serena Williams, and powered to a 6-1 6-2 triumph on day two of this season’s event.
After a rain delay of more than an hour, Sharapova wasted little time in disposing of her 156th-ranked opponent as her powerful ground strokes and movement around the court proved too much to deal with in a ruthless display.
The Russian seventh seed now faces a second-round meeting with Tsvetana Pironkova, who defeated Annika Beck on Sunday.
There was similar success for number five seed Petra Kvitova, who overcame a closely fought opening set to triumph 7-5 6-2 against Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, while ninth seed Dominika Cibulkova safely negotiated her way past Virginie Razzano 7-5 6-0.
Flavia Pennetta and Sabine Lisicki were among the other big names to make it into the second round, picking up wins over Patricia Mayr-Achleitner and Fiona Ferro respectively, but three-time semi-finalist Jelena Jankovic will be left to sweat over her involvement in the tournament after suffering an early scare against Sharon Fichman of Canada.
World number 77 Fichman edged the opening set 7-5, but was two breaks down at 5-1 in the second when the players were withdrawn for bad light. Their match will resume on Tuesday.
Italy’s Roberta Vinci was the biggest casualty of day two in the women’s draw, the 17th seed suffering a 6-3 3-6 2-6 defeat to world number 145 Pauline Parmentier.
The result sets up a second-round meeting for Parmentier with Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova – a 3-6 7-5 6-4 winner over Lauren Davis of the United States.
Eugenie Bouchard continued the form that saw her claim a first WTA title at the Nurnberger Versicherungscup on Saturday to win 6-0 6-2 against Shahar Peer, but there was no such luck for Monica Puig – winner at the Internationaux de Strasbourg – who lost 6-1 6-1 to 19th seed Samantha Stosur.
Seeded trio Andrea Petkovic, Alize Cornet and Elena Vesnina also secured safe passages into the second round.
Elsewhere, there were wins for qualifiers Tamira Paszek and Timea Bacsinszky against Alison Van Uytvanck and Maryna Zanevska, while wildcard Taylor Townsend overcame compatriot Vania King.
Mona Barthel, Stefanie Vogele, Paula Ormaechea, Julia Gorges, Karolina Pliskova, Kurumi Nara and Marina Erakovic also booked their place in the second round on Monday, with a number of matches pushed back to Tuesday due to rain delays earlier in the day.
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