Maria Sharapova got out of the heat as quickly as she could, needing just 63 minutes to beat British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-0, 6-0 on Monday in the first match on Rod Laver Arena at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Sharapova, who wore an ice collar during breaks to help stay cool, was making her 15th appearance at the season-opening major.
The only break point Sharapova faced was when she double-faulted in the fifth game of the second set.
Dart, who described Sharapova as her idol before the match, lost in the first round at Wimbledon last year after being given a wild card in her only previous Grand Slam singles appearance.
Among the other seeded players advancing were No. 11 Aryna Sabalenka, who beat Anna Kalinskaya 6-1, 6-4, No. 19 Caroline Garcia, No. 29 Donna Vekic and No. 31 Petra Martic.
Inter Milan wins
in empty stadium
Inter Milan eased into the quarterfinals of the Italian Cup, although none of its fans were present at San Siro to see the Nerazzurri crush second-division Benevento 6-2.
Inter was forced to play the match behind closed doors as part of its punishment for racist chanting in the Dec. 26 league match against Napoli.
“It’s not a match, it’s not football, it’s not entertainment,” Inter coach Luciano Spalletti said. “So many fans have been punished, we don’t want to play in this way. … We need to find different solutions.”
Inter will face Lazio in the next round.
•Barcelona forward Lionel Messi extended his all-time Spanish league scoring record to 400 goals with a second-half strike in a 3-0 win over Eibar. In all competitions, Messi, 31, has scored 575 goals in 658 appearances.
•Marcus Rashford scored in the first half and David de Gea made 11 saves as Manchester United beat host Tottenham 1-0 in English Premier League play to improve to 6-0 since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho as the team’s coach. Sixth-place Manchester United moved to six points behind Chelsea for the fourth and final Champions League place.
•An FA women’s championship match in Kent, England, between Manchester United and Charlton was abandoned in the 11th minute of play after Charlton defender Charlotte Kerr was hurt in a collision. Kerr was treated on the field and medical staff waited — reportedly for 30 minutes — for an ambulance to arrive. Charlton released a statement saying Kerr’s condition had improved after she was taken to the hospital.
College football: All-America safety Deionte Thompson became the sixth Alabama player to announce he is leaving school early to enter the NFL draft. He announced his decision on Twitter. Thompson recorded 79 tackles, two interceptions and four forced fumbles this season.
Skiing: In Adelboden, Switzerland, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher won a World Cup slalom, his ninth career victory on the course, to set a men’s record on the 52-year circuit for most wins by one skier at a single venue. Hirscher finished 0.50 of a second ahead of France’s Clement Noel.
Obituary: Former Miami Dolphins guard Bob Kuechenberg, a six-time Pro Bowl selection and member of the only NFL team to achieve a perfect season, died Saturday at age 71. Kuechenberg, who played for Miami from 1970 to 1983, started every game for the team that went 17-0 in 1972.
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