Cincinnati Masters: Sharapova faces Barty in second round
Maria Sharapova serves against Alison Riske. (Reuters)
Cincinnati - Barty defeated Sharapova in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January
Maria Sharapova overpowered Alison Riske 6-3 7-6(4) at the Cincinnati Masters on Monday to set up a tantalising second-round battle with world number two Ash Barty, who defeated the Russian at this year's Australian Open.
Barty defeated Sharapova in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January and both will be looking to sharpen their games ahead of the US Open later this month.
Another former world number one, Caroline Wozniacki, fell to rising Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska 6-4 6-4 under the lights to close out the day's action.
Johanna Konta suffered her second straight first-round exit at a tournament as she fell 6-3 3-6 7-5 to qualifier Rebecca Peterson in a marathon first-round match.
Svetlana Kuznetsova upset 11th seeded Anastasija Sevastova 7-6(3) 6-7(4) 6-4 in their first-round battle to set up a second round clash with Yastremska.
Seven times Grand Slam champion Venus Williams moved through the first round when she defeated compatriot Lauren Davis in straight sets (7-5 6-2) earlier in the day.
Wild card Williams won 7-5 6-2 on centre court as she maintained her streak of never having lost a set to Davis, having beaten her four times.
Williams fended off seven of the eight break points she faced, and won 61% of points when returning the Davis second serve.
Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva and Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich earlier won three set matches.
Putintseva defeated Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 6-2 7-6(3) 6-3 and Sasnovich beat Astra Sharma of Australia 6-1 4-6 6-1.