Sharapova marches into Tianjin semifinals

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TIANJIN, China: Maria Sharapova equalled her best performance since returning from a doping suspension when she reached the Tianjin Open semifinals on Friday.

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Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return against Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland during their women’s singles quarterfinals match at the WTA Tianjin Open tennis tournament in Tianjin on Friday. AFP PHOTO

The Russian easily defeated Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 6-1 in 64 minutes. The former world number one will face either China’s Peng Shuai or Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in the last four.

Sharapova returned from a 15-month suspension in April for taking the banned substance meldonium.

In her first tournament back, in Stuttgart, she made it to the semi-finals but has been unable to repeat that feat again, until now.

The 30-year-old, ranked 86 in the world, was granted a wildcard for Tianjin because her ranking was too low.

AFP

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