PARIS — Two-time champion Maria Sharapova improved to 13-0 in second-round matches at the French Open by beating 50th-ranked Donna Vekic of Croatia 7-5, 6-4.
It took Sharapova a little bit to close things out. She led 5-2 in the second set, then served for the win at 5-3, but was broken when she sailed an off-balance forehand wide.
She broke right back to end it, though, converting her fifth match point with a forehand return winner.
Sharapova is competing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015. She missed the clay-court Grand Slam tournament in 2016 while serving a doping suspension, then was denied a wild-card entry by the French tennis federation last year, when her ranking was too low to earn automatic entry.
The 31-year-old Russian won the title in 2012 and 2014, part of her career Grand Slam. She is seeded 28th this year.
Next for Sharapova is a matchup against sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova, the runner-up at the 2016 U.S. Open and a semifinalist in Paris a year ago. Pliskova’s twin sister lost to Serena Williams in the first round this week.
Pliskova reached the third round with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over 2015 French Open runner-up Lucie Safarova.