Shara­pova storms into Tian­jin quar­ters

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

TIAN­JIN, China: Maria Shara­pova surged into the Tian­jin Open quar­ter­fi­nals on Thurs­day as she pur­sues her first tour­na­ment vic­tory since her re­turn from a dop­ing ban.

The Rus­sian for­mer world num­ber one de­feated Magda Linette of Poland 7-5, 6-3 and will play Swiss qual­i­fier Stefanie Voegele.

The 30-year-old Shara­pova has been on the come­back trail since April after serv­ing a 15-month sus­pen­sion for tak­ing the banned sub­stance mel­do­nium.

Shara­pova, a five-time Ma­jor­win­ner, is now ranked a lowly 86 in the world and she needed a wild­card to en­ter the Tian­jin tour­na­ment.

She saw off 71st-ranked Linette in just over 98 min­utes to reach only her sec­ond quar­ter­fi­nal since her re­turn to ac­tion.

“We did a really good job of hold­ing serve in the first set,” Shara­pova was quoted as say­ing by the WTA web­site. “I feel like I made a few too many er­rors on my re­turn game which ul­ti­mately led to a dif­fi­cult first set.”

“But once I broke her early in that sec­ond set I played a really good ag­gres­sive game and I felt like I had the mo­men­tum in the sec­ond.” — AFP

TIAN­JIN OPEN RE­SULTS Sec­ond round: Stefanie Voegele (Switzer­land) beat 5-Yu­lia Putint­seva (Kaza­khstan) 6-2, 6-3; 3-Peng Shuai (China) beat Wang Xiyu (China) 6-2, 6-2; Sara Er­rani (Italy) beat Beatriz Had­dad Maia (Brazil) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3; Sara Sor­ribes Tormo (Spain) beat Wang Yafan (China) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3; Maria Shara­pova (Rus­sia) bt Magda Linette (Poland) 7-5, 6-3; Christina McHale (US) bt 6-Maria Sakkari (Greece) 6-0, 6-4; Aryna Sa­balenka (Be­larus) bt Duan Yingy­ing (China) 6-3, 6-3; Zhu Lin (China) bt Hsieh Su-Wei (Tai­wan) 6-3, 6-1

Maria Shara­pova

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