London: Maria Sharapova admitted her Olympic debut was a dream come true as the Russian demolished Israel's Shahar Peer 6-2, 6-0 under the Centre Court roof at Wimbledon on Sunday.

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Sharapova missed the 2008 Olympics in Beijing due to a shoulder injury and the world number three has been determined to savour every minute of her first appearance at the Games after watching the event so often as a child.

The 25-year-old carried her country's flag at Friday's opening ceremony and she produced a few fireworks off her own to blitz Peer in 65 minutes in a first round match played indoors due to persistent rain.

"It was incredible to finally start the Olympics. It was a big moment for me," Sharapova said.

"It took many years to get here so it's pretty special. I've certainly been waiting for this moment since I was a little girl so it was nice to get a win in my first Olympic match.

"I'm representing my country but playing at Wimbledon (in the Olympics) is a unique opportunity for everyone. There are so many different emotions. I had a lot of fun."

Sharapova, who will play Britain's Laura Robson or Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in the last 32, is bidding to complete a career Golden Slam of all four major titles and Olympic singles gold.

She admits it would be a magnificent addition to her already glittering CV.

"You have to dream big. When I was young I wanted to be an Olympian because it meant so much for the country," Sharapova said.

"Back then tennis wasn't so big, so now, to see it rise up so much in the last few years and see this as a big sport during the Olympics, it's special.

"The Wimbledon crowd is normally very mellow and traditional but you go out today and everyone's representing their country, shouting and screaming with flags all over the place.

"It's a completely different atmosphere but it's really magical and it's incredible to see it transformed in only a couple of weeks."

Just weeks after winning the French Open for the first time, Sharapova looked mentally exhausted in a surprise Wimbledon fourth round loss against Sabine Lisicki earlier this month.

She lost her position on top of the world rankings after that disappointing defeat, but the Olympics seem to have provided the perfect cure for any Wimbledon hangover.

Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion, dropped serve in the opening game of the match, but that seemed to act as a wake-up call for the Russian and she hit back with three breaks of her own to take the set.

Peer, ranked 49th in the world, had lost all six of her previous meetings with Sharapova and, after failing to convert three break points in the first game of the second set, she was blown away again.


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