Former champion Maria Sharapova has made a brisk start in her 15th Australian Open, a 6-0 6-0 winner over qualifier Harriet Dart in 63 minutes.
Opening the 2019 Grand Slam season on Rod Laver Arena, site of her 2008 victory over Ana Ivanovic in the so-called ‘glam slam’, the No.30 seed had too much power and big-match experience for the 22-year-old Brit, playing in just her second Grand Slam main draw.
A full 101 places separate them in the rankings, but on court they were worlds apart. Londoner Dart was playing in her first main-draw match here versus the Russian’s 68th. Not to mention $265,000 career prize money versus Sharapova’s haul of $38 million.