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Maria Sharapova survives 1st round match as US Open tennis gets underway

Maria Sharapova had to use all three sets in her opening match Monday. The US Open tennis tournament, featuring Maria Sharapova and a host of other stars, is off and running in New York.

By Staff / August 30, 2011

Maria Sharapova of Russia returns a ball to Heather Watson of the United Kingdom during the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday, Aug. 29.

Mike Groll/AP

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Maria Sharapova needed all three sets in her match Monday to defeat England's Heather Watson, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, as the US Open tennis tournament got underway in New York.

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The third-seeded Sharapova shrugged off a listless start to get past the British teenager and move onto the second round, where she'll meet Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus.

"It's just a matter of belief within myself, that no matter how well or bad or good I'm playing, or my opponent is playing, I know I can tough it out," the No. 3-seeded Sharapova said after her two-and-a-half-hour victory. "No matter what the situation is, I have the belief."

Also winning on the women's side Monday was Venus Williams of the US. The former US Open champ defeated Russia's Vesna Delonts, 6-4, 6-3. Venus will next take on German Sabine Lisicki, who is seeded 22nd in the women's draw.

On the men's side Monday, former champion Roger Federer advanced to the second round with a win.

First-round play continues on Tuesday, featuring both Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki, the tournament's top men and women's seeds.

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