"There was a lot of firsts again for me, playing the first tournament, first Grand Slam, and just different feelings and what it would be routinely".
Sharapova, still working her way back from a 15-month ban for taking the performance-enhancing substance meldonium, showed glimpses of the tennis that made her a five-time major victor.
Former world No 1 Angelique Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open victor, continued her resurgent run with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Anna-Lena Friedsam to extend her streak to 10 consecutive wins.
"It's been a couple of years since I've been back here - obviously I wanted to enjoy the moment", the 2008 Australian Open champion said after blowing kisses to the crowd.
Meanwhile, Germany's Angelique Kerber also made a winning start as she swept aside her fellow countryman Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-0, 6-4 in the first round.
She is now on a 10-match win streak after a flawless early season. I said, "I have nothing to say".
Wimbledon champion Garbine Mugurza, No. 6 Karolina Pliskova, No. 8 Caroline Garcia, No. 9 Johanna Konta, No. 16 Elena Vesnina, No. 26 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 28 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and No. 29 Lucie Safarova advanced. I won a straight-set match.
As temperatures soared towards 40 Celsius on the hottest day of the tournament so far, it was a sizzling demolition of an opponent who had taken the Russian to three sets in both their previous meetings. The Grand Slams know that. "So I feel like I transported myself into the TV this year and I'm finding myself on Rod Laver Arena competing".
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The former world champion was playing his first official match since retiring during his Wimbledon quarter final match against Tomas Berdych last summer with elbow problems that forced him to miss the rest of the season.
"There are maybe 60 guys asking for stuff and I am one of those guys, yes", said the 19-time grand slam champion.
"It's really tough on your feet to play in these conditions", she said.
One man Federer will not be facing, though, is compatriot Stan Wawrinka.
Every year tennis players brace themselves for potentially oppressive weather at the Australian Open - but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with when the intense heat does arrive.
No. 13 Sam Querrey restored some order for the US men with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Feliciano Lopez.
However, the 31-year-old is a three-time Slam semi-finalist and beat world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in an exhibition match at the Kooyang Classic in the build-up to the tournament, and will represent a threat for the 36-year-old.
Novak Djokovic, as president of the ATP player council, said this week at the Australian Open in Melbourne that "everybody's trying to do their best" when asked about players getting a bigger slice of the Grand Slam cash pool.