The five-time major champion was making her first Slam appearance since testing positive for a banned substance at the 2016 Australian Open, having returned from a 15-month suspension for violating anti-doping rules in April, but was denied a wildcard for the French Open and then pulled out of Wimbledon qualifying through injury.
"When I found out that I received the wildcard, I was obviously extremely excited," 2006 U.S. Open champion Sharapova told reporters.
"The fact that I was able to come out and play that way, beat the number two player in the world in the first round of the U.S. Open, it's been a while, I think those are definitely the emotions that I was feeling."
Sharapova was greeted with an ovation from the Arthur Ashe crowd before the match and afterwards, and the Russian continued: "[It was] so special.
- Emotional Sharapova tops No. 2 Halep at Open in Slam returnPhilly.com
- Maria Sharapova, a villain to some, is back in black at US OpenLos Angeles Times
- Maria Sharapova makes dramatic return to US Open, upsets world No. 2 Simona HalepChicago Tribune
- US Open 2017: Sharapova returns from 15-month suspension, stuns No. 2 seed HalepCBSSports.com
- Maria Sharapova edges No. 2 Simona Halep at US Open in Grand Slam returnESPN
- Maria Sharapova Wins Her First Grand Slam Match Since Her Drug BanTIME
- Maria Sharapova returns to Grand Slam tennis in dramatic fashionABC News
- Maria Sharapova Upsets No. 2 Simona Halep in US Open First RoundSports Illustrated
- Sharapova belies own doubts back in New York spotlightYahoo Sports