NEW YORK, Aug 25 (Reuters) - French Open champion Maria Sharapova swept the last 10 games to surge past fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko 6-4 6-0 and into the second round of the U.S. Open on Monday.
Trailing 2-4 in the first set, the five-times grand slam winner tightened control of her booming groundstrokes to break back, then steamrolled to victory in her return to Flushing Meadows after missing last year's event with a shoulder injury.
"It was tough missing this court last year," Sharapova told the crowd in an on-court interview after improving her U.S. Open night record to 17-0. "To be back here you realize how meaningful it is to keep working."
Sharapova, the 2006 U.S. champion, will next meet Romania's Alexandra Dulgheru, a straight sets winner over Czech Kristyna Pliskova.
(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Ian Ransom)