MELBOURNE: Maria Sharapova got out of the Melbourne heat as quickly as she could, needing just 63 minutes to beat British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-0, 6-0 in the first match on Rod Laver Arena at this year's Australian Open.
Sharapova, who wore an ice collar during breaks to help alleviate the 30 degree Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) temperature, was making her 15th appearance at the season-opening major.
The only break point Sharapova faced was when she double-faulted in the fifth game of the second set.
Dart, who described Sharapova as her idol before the match, lost in the first round at Wimbledon last year after being given a wild card in her only previous Grand Slam singles appearance.
The 22-year-old Dart had a game point on her serve in the eighth game of the match, but Sharapova rallied to break the British player and continue the rout.
Another British player, Heather Watson, also lost early on day one, beaten 6-1, 6-2 by 31st-seeded Petra Martic.