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WTA Finals: Maria Sharapova outlasts Agnieszka Radwanska in opener

Maria Sharapova won a three-set marathon against Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska as she shrugged off injury concerns and laid down her challenge at the WTA Finals in Singapore on Sunday.

The Russian had not completed a match since the Wimbledon semi-finals after leg and forearm problems but she overcame some rusty play to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 47 minutes. It could prove a useful work-out for the world number three as she bids to recover the title she won aged 17 on debut in 2004. Top-ranked Serena Williams has opted not to defend her title, choosing to shut down her 2015 season to recover from injury and fatigue issues.

Last year’s runner-up Simona Halep of Romania earlier destroyed US Open champion Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-0, 6-3 to also get off the mark in the Red Group round robin, with matches to come against Sharapova and Radwanska.

“Matches like this, I think they take a few years out of your life. God knows what is happening with my hair. I think I lost half of it. It’s like I don’t even want to open this bun up because it’s just a disaster,” Sharapova said.

“But you know what? I’m happy I got through. Yeah, I’m going to feel it tomorrow and I’m going to be a little bit tired, but, hey, that’s the game. I’m proud that I was able to get through.”

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