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Sharapova makes winning return in Warsaw

  • Story Highlights
  • Russian Maria Sharapova returns with win after near 10-month injury absence
  • She defeated Italy's Tathiana Garbin 6-1 6-7 6-3 in Warsaw Open first round
  • Sharapova hopes to prove fitness for French Open which starts this Sunday
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(CNN) -- Maria Sharapova returned to competitive singles after a near 10-month absence on Monday as she bids to prove her fitness for the forthcoming French Open in Paris.

Maria Sharapova is hoping to prove her fitness ahead of the French Open in Paris starting on Sunday.

Maria Sharapova is hoping to prove her fitness ahead of the French Open in Paris starting on Sunday.

The Russian defeated Italy's Tathiana Garbin 6-1 6-7 6-3 to book her place in the second round of the Warsaw Open claycourt tournament

Sharapova's world ranking has slumped from No.1 to No.126 during her absence from the court because of a shoulder problem that saw her miss three Grand Slam tournaments.

The 22-year-old had to sit out last year's Wimbledon and U.S. Open and also failed to recover in time for the 2009 Australian Open.

She has had to shelve comeback attempts but did appear in one losing game in the doubles tournament at Indian Wells in March.

Sharapova, who has three majors to her name, broke her Italian opponent four times in a row in the opener, dropping her own serve once en route to the set.

Garbin offered stiffer resistance in the second set although Sharapova wasted four match points at 5-3 and 40-0 up in the ninth game -- a seventh double-fault in the subsequent tie-break giving her rival a set point that she converted.

Sharapova, playing with a bandage on her right shoulder, hit back from 3-1 down in the decider to seal victory in two hours and 35 minutes.

The French Open begins in Paris on May 24.

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