Former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova made a triumphant comeback following a 15-month doping ban with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Italian Roberta Vinci in the first round of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany.
Sharapova, who received a controversial wild card for the tournament, was playing in her first match since falling to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Australian Open. The five-time Grand Slam champion tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, but saw her initial two-year ban reduced to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Sharapova initially received a lukewarm response from the crowd before polite applause as well as whistling were heard.
"It was the best feeling in the world," Sharapova said. "I have been waiting for this a long time."
Sharapova stumbled out of the blocks by dropping the first two games before breaking Vinci's serve. The 30-year-old Russian converted her second set point with a forehand winner to claim the opener.
Sharapova seized control of the match in the second set before closing out the win on Vinci's serve.
Fourth-seeded Romanian Simona Halep advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Czech Barbora Strycova.
Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic posted a 6-4, 6-2 win over Croatia's Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-4, 6-2 to set up a second-round match against defending champion Angelique Kerber.
Sixth-seeded Johanna Konta of England defeated Japan's Naomi Osaka 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-1.
American Coco Vandeweghe posted a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3) over Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko, Russian Elena Vesnina recorded a 7-6 (2), 6-2 triumph over fellow countrywoman Darya Kasatkina and Spaniard Carla Suarez-Navarro collected a 6-2, 6-4 win over German Tamara Korpatsch.