Sharapova marches into Tianjin semi-finals

Sharapova marches into Tianjin semi-finals

Maria Sharapova equalled her best performance since returning from a doping suspension when she reached the Tianjin Open semi-finals on Friday.

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.