Russian star headlines Mexican Open field

A first ever appearance at the Mexican Open looks set to lead to success for Maria Sharapova.

Maria Sharapova will compete at the Mexican Open for the first time, and the top seed is a hot favourite to win the title in Acapulco.

The Russian star resumes her season after being beaten by Serena Williams in the Australian Open final.

Sharapova arrived in Mexico on Friday to much fanfare as she eyes the title at the WTA International event played on hard courts.

The powerful right-hander is the only top-10 player in the draw, and she will be hard to beat.

Sara Errani showed good form in Rio de Janeiro, where she performed well on her preferred clay-court surface.

But the Italian is unlikely to trouble Sharapova on hard courts, particularly with a short turnaround and needing to make a quick adjustment.

Errani is a two-time champion in Acapulco, taking out the title in 2012 and 2013.

Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia is the third seed, and ranked 30th in the world.

The other seeds are Irina-Camelia Begu, Timea Bacsinszky, Roberta Vinci, Sloane Stephens and Madison Brengle.

Dominika Cibulkova is the defending champion, but her form since she won the title last year has been lacklustre.

Stephens is one to keep an eye on, particularly given her slow start to 2015.

The American failed to make inroads in Auckland and Hobart before Victoria Azarenka sent her packing in the Australian Open first round.

Stephens is capable of more, and Acapulco could be an opportunity for her to kick-start her season.


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