Russia's Maria Sharapova serves the ball to Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova during their match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Riccardo De Luca
May 12, 2015

ROME (AP) Maria Sharapova opened her bid for a third Italian Open title with a win over 52nd-ranked Jarmila Gajdosova on Tuesday.

The third-seeded Sharapova was leading 6-2, 3-1 when her Australian opponent retired with an apparent injury.

Sharapova won back-to-back titles at the Foro Italico in 2011 and 2012. She is coming off a loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the Madrid Open semifinals.

Organizers did not immediately say why Gajdosova retired.

In men's action on the red clay, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain beat U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3.

Later, top-ranked Novak Djokovic was to play Nicolas Almagro and Serena Williams was to face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The Italian Open is the last big warm-up tournament for the French Open, which starts in less than two weeks.

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