Romania's Halep, who will be seeking her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in two weeks' time, struck 12 winners to blitz the 110th-ranked American in one hour and nine minutes.
Meanwhile, five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova, making her Shenzhen debut, also despatched Romania's world number 56 Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 6-0 in an hour and 20 minutes.
The Russian, who is embarking on her first full season since returning from a 15-month doping ban in April, sealed her straight sets win after striking 18 winners to 20 unforced errors.
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- Maria Sharapova defeats Romania´s Mihaela BuzarnescuThe News International
- Sharapova, Halep advance at Shenzhen OpenPhilippine Star
- First week on WTA Tour sets the stageTennis.Life (blog)
- Halep, Sharapova begin wellThe Hindu
- WTA Shenzhen: Maria Sharapova strolls to emphatic victory over Mihaela BuzarnescuVAVEL.com
- Maria Sharapova Shines in Shenzhen DebutbeIN SPORTS USA
- Sharapova, Halep open 2018 season with victoryNew Kerala
- Sharapova, Halep through at Shenzhen OpenChina.org.cn
- Halep, Sharapova begin season with winsNews of Bahrain- DT News (press release)