• Madrid Open

Serena and Sharapova ease through in Madrid

ESPN staff
May 4, 2014
Maria Sharapova will play Christina McHale in the second round © Getty Images

Serena Williams brushed aside Belinda Bencic 6-2 6-1 to begin her defence of the Madrid Open title on Sunday, while Maria Sharapova beat Klara Koukalova 6-1 6-2 in the first round.

World No.1 Williams, who has won the clay-court tournament the past two years, hit 11 aces and broke Bencic five times to advance in less than an hour.

Williams will play Peng Shuai of China in the second round.

Sharapova, who lost to Williams in last year's final, converted six of eight break points to take advantage of Koukalova's eight double-faults.

Sharapova will play Christina McHale of the United States next.

Also, Ana Ivanovic beat the United States' Madison Keys 6-1 7-6(4) to set up a meeting with fellow Serb Bojana Jovanovski. Ivanovic overcame her shaky serve by saving three of four break points.

This article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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