Sharapova opens 2015 with win in Brisbane

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Brisbane, Australia ( - Top-seeded former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova was an easy second-round winner Tuesday at the season-opening $1 million Brisbane International tennis event.

After receiving an opening-round bye, the reigning French Open champion flattened Kazakhstani qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova 6-0, 6-1 in 62 minutes on the hardcourts at Queensland Tennis Centre.

Meanwhile, third-seeded German left-hander Angelique Kerber handled Russian qualifier Daria Gavrilova 6-3, 7-5, Ukrainian Elina Svitolina dropped Croatian wild card Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 6-2 and Varvara Lepchenko topped fellow American Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4. Kerber will face Svitolina in Thursday's quarterfinals.

On Wednesday, second-seeded former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic will face Aussie wild card Jarmila Gajdosova in the second round.

Brisbane serves as a tune-up for the Aussie Open, which will begin January 19 in Melbourne.