Sharapova targeting return to the top

Maria Sharapova posed for a number

Maria Sharapova overcame a shaky start in the first round of the Italian Open on Monday to defeat 58th-ranked Christina McHale 6-4, 6-2.

The Russian tennis player, given a wild card to compete in Rome after returning from a 15-month doping ban, dropped serve three times in a scrappy opening set, but won 6-4, 6-2.

When told by The Times that she had qualified for Wimbledon qualifying after earning enough ranking points to be within the cut on May 29, Sharapova replied: "Will I?"

However the 2004 Wimbledon champion will have her sights on at least the semi-finals on the Rome clay, as that would guarantee a spot in the main SW19 draw.

The five-time grand slam victor will find out if she receives a wildcard entry into this month's French Open later on Tuesday.

The Russian, who is a three-time victor of this event, will take on Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the second round. "The fact that I'm back and playing three weeks in a row now and three events in a row for me is a big deal".

Sharapova also said that she was unaware of this week's rankings deadline for the Wimbledon qualifying draw.

Maria Sharapova, of Russian Federation, returns the ball to Christina Mchale, of the United States, during the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Monday, May 15, 2017.

Sharapova was down a break on three different occasions in the first set but eventually made the necessary adjustments and cruised through the second set to improve her lifetime record to 5-0 against McHale. But Sharapova wasn't focused on that, and will now face Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who beat former French Open finalist Lucie Safarova 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 on Monday. "She played extremely well and aggressive, so I'm really happy I was still able to win".

Sam Querrey eliminated Lucas Pouille, a semifinalist a year ago, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (8).

The Italian Open organizers were criticized for giving a wild card to Sharapova instead of former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, an Italian.

The Laver Cup, a three-day competition modeled on golf's Ryder Cup, will pit a team of six top players from Europe against six of their counterparts from the rest of the world.

"We know Team Europe is incredibly strong on paper, and that Roger and Rafa have both had an unbelievable start to the year", he said.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hong Kong rejects asylum claims of group that hid Snowden
May 16, 2017 - 09:27
After just over a month in Hong Kong , Snowden boarded a flight to Russian Federation , where he has since been granted asylum. The refugees faced "dire risk if sent back to their countries", said Dinah PoKempner, general counsel at the rights group.

UN Security Council threatens DPRK with new sanctions for missile tests
May 16, 2017 - 09:23
The missile firing took place Sunday, North Korea time, with the projectile landing in the sea between North Korea and Japan. While Trump has said he'd be "honored" to talk Kim under favorable conditions, Haley seemed to rule out the possibility.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top New Girl renewed for seventh and final season
May 15, 2017 - 11:24
The final season will likely follow the gang as they pack up the loft and transition into these exciting new chapters. While an official episode count has yet to be determined, sources say the final season will be a shorter run.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Abbas's Fatah party leading local polls in West Bank cities
May 15, 2017 - 11:15
Electoral worker gives a ballot to a voter at a polling station in the West Bank city of Nablus, Saturday, May 13, 2017. Abbas, 82, is now 12 years into what was to be a four-year term and is an unpopular leader according to opinion polls.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Angry woman follows congressman down highway
May 14, 2017 - 03:01
The sheriff's department said the victims turned off the highway and pulled into a driveway of someone they knew. Eyewitnesses said there was a "lot of cursing" but that they "couldn't understand a lot of what she was saying".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Egypt discovers new necropolis in Minya, first in area
May 14, 2017 - 03:01
The discovery was made in the village of Tuna al-Gabal, a vast archaeological site on the edge of the western desert. In March, pharaoh statues, dating back 3,700 years, were discovered in a muddy pit in a suburb of Cairo.

Jordanian stabber shot dead in Jerusalem
May 14, 2017 - 03:00
According to Ma'an documentation, the Palestinian was the 22nd to have been killed by Israelis since the beginning of the year. Israel says the violence is fueled by a Palestinian campaign of incitement.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Huge 16 ft. 10 in. python caught by South Florida man
May 14, 2017 - 02:57
A Florida snake hunter hit the jackpot when he presented officials with his latest catch: a almost 17-foot python worth $375. But there are other incentives too, starting at $50 dollars for a four-foot long snake , $25 for each additional foot above.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Opera's new browser lets users directly access WhatsApp, Messenger and Telegram
May 13, 2017 - 01:34
Opera has been consistently pushing updates to its desktop browser in a bid to outrun market leaders such as Google's Chrome. Shortcuts let you switch between these pinned apps, and more apps can be added or removed in settings.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Pink Floyd's Nick Mason wants to play drums for Harry Styles
May 13, 2017 - 01:23
Harry Styles' self-titled debut solo album is out today, and the internet is abuzz about one track in particular-" Two Ghosts ". However, it's kind of the One Direction alum's fault as he clearly penned a track about his superstar ex for his new album.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Reliance Jio to launch JioFiber home broadband trials in four cities
May 13, 2017 - 01:21
Though they haven't mentioned the names, the team stated that they are trying to expand their services in other cities gradually. The offer consists of extra data capacity which will be provided at Airtel's sole option and discretion.

England's health service says hospitals hit by 'ransomware' attack
May 13, 2017 - 01:19
Many canceled all routine procedures and asked patients not to come to the hospitals unless it was an emergency. An NHS Digital spokesman said: "At this stage we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tesla CEO says company to start selling solar roof tiles
May 13, 2017 - 01:19
Tesla says you'll generate $64,000 of savings in energy costs over the next 30 years so it will more than pay itself off. The product, which Tesla will offer through its SolarCity division, will be a no-brainer for homeowners, Musk has said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Stiff headwinds for GOP on health care, tax reform
May 13, 2017 - 01:18
The clobbering tool has been passed to the Democrats and they will try to employ it during the 2018 midterm elections. Just 11 percent of respondents said they believe the AHCA will cause health insurance costs to go down.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Retail sales strengthen in April, brightening economic outlook
May 13, 2017 - 01:18
U.S. retail sales increased 0.4 percent in April and 4.5 percent from the same time past year , according to the U.S. Gasoline stations sales were up 12.3% from April 2016, while Nonstore Retailers were up 11.9% from a year ago .