Russia’s Maria Sharapova registered a straight-set win over Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu to reach the second round of the Tianjin Open.

The former world number one, now ranked 86th in the world, took just 82 minutes to beat Begu 6-4 6-2.

Sharapova converted all four of her break points to set up a meeting with Poland’s Magda Linette.

Elsewhere, second seed Petra Kvitova was beaten 6-4 5-7 6-4 by Chinese world number 113 Zhu Lin.

Eight double faults cost Kvitova as she struggled for rhythm throughout the match.

The Czech has now lost five of the seven three-set matches she has played this year.

“After rain interrupted the opening days of the tournament, Sharapova said: “It’s been a long wait for everyone, it hasn’t been easy.

“I had a first practice outdoors, and then I think it rained for 70 hours straight, unfortunately for the players.

“The good thing about this tournament is it has indoors, it’s pretty state-of-the-art, and I trained at the National Tennis Centre as well, which was very impressive.”

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