shahar peer tennis 248 88 ap.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Shahar Pe'er began the prestigious Indian Wells Masters in impressive fashion on Wednesday, thrashing Kateryna Bondarenko (59 in the world) 6-2, 6-1 in less than an hour.
Peer (49) hadn't won a match since being denied entry to Dubai more than three weeks ago, and the reward for her easy first round win in California will be a second round showdown with 10th seed and world No. 12 Marion Bartoli.
Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova will return to the WTA Tour in Indian Wells this week after more than seven months out with injury.
Sharapova, who missed the last two Grand Slam tournaments with a right shoulder injury, will compete in the doubles tournament with Elena Vesnina. What the three-time major champion isn't yet ready to do is play singles, according to her Web site. "I am excited to be playing competitive tennis again," Sharapova said in a posting on her site. "The healing process takes time, and requires things to move more slowly than I would like, but I am taking things one step at a time."
Sharapova has not played competitively since pulling out of a tournament in Montreal in late July after winning a nearly three-hour match in which she double-faulted 17 times.
The right-hander was examined by a trainer midway through the three-set victory, and she withdrew from the tournament before her next match.
Medical tests later found a torn rotator cuff tendon in the Russian's shoulder.