Wimbledon 2013 - Maria Sharapova vs. Kristina Mladenovic (15:00 BST)

Maria Sharapova (credit: Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Maria Sharapova takes on Kristina Mladenovic this afternoon in the first round of Wimbledon 2013 (15:00 BST start).

Sharapova has some dangerous players in her section of the draw, and she'll have to be on song from the very first match onwards. Mladenovic impressed many people at the French Open where she reached the mixed doubles final, and she looked dangerous the following week at Birmingham with her massive serve and venomous double-handed backhand.

However at the moment, consistency is the problem for the young Frenchwoman. She lost in the first round of the Topshelf Open last week but she tends to rise to the big occasion.  

Sharapova will be playing her first competitive grass-court match and she explained that these days she likes to take a breather between the French Open and Wimbledon.

"The reason I don't play a warm-up event is because of so many tournaments back to back," she said at the weekend.

"It's always just nice to get back to working, to playing, working on a few things here and there. Sometimes when you get in a groove of playing so many matches, you lose that work ethic a bit."

Having watched a few of Mladenovic's matches recently, Sharapova knows that she's a dangerous opponent.

"I think she's a great player," she added.

"I've seen her play a bit. I think she has a good game for grass. She seems to be doing very well this year. The first matches are always extremely difficult so I expect an extremely difficult match."

Prediction: Sharapova in two.


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Wimbledon 2013 - Maria Sharapova vs. Kristina Mladenovic (15:00 BST)

Maria Sharapova takes on Kristina Mladenovic this afternoon in the first round of Wimbledon 2013 (15:00 BST start).

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