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Sharapova given tough challenge on Paris return

France Tennis French Open

Russia’s Maria Sharapova celebrates winning her first round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Netherland’s Richel Hogenkamp at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, May 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

AP

PARIS (AP) Two-time French Open champion Maria Sharapova of Russia has been pushed to three sets in her return to the Paris Grand Slam following a two-year absence.

Sharapova was given a tough challenge by Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp but eventually prevailed 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

It was Sharapova’s first win at the French Open since 2015 after she served a drug ban in 2016 and was not granted a wild card last year.

Sharapova led 6-1, 4-3 but lost the next six games as Hogenkamp led 3-0 in the decider. Sharapova managed to turn things around and Hogenkamp angrily tossed her racket at the red clay after Sharapova resisted pressure on her serve in the sixth game, saving two break points.