Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Sharapova advances in rain-delayed Tianjin Open

Sharapova advances in rain-delayed Tianjin Open

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

The first-round match was played on Wednesday after rain wreaked havoc with the schedule.

The five-time grand slam champion, soundly beaten by new world number one Simona Halep in the China Open last week, saw off Linette 7-5 6-3 to move into the last eight.

Sharapova, who received a wild card into the event, has not yet dropped a set this week, and was relatively unbothered during her first meeting with the World No.196.

After rain interrupted the opening days of the tournament, Sharapova said: "It's been a long wait for everyone, it hasn't been easy".

Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia overcame losing the first set to record a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2 win over fourth-seeded Croatian Donna Vekic while fifth-seeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan also needed three sets to notch a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-2 victory over American Lauren Davis.

She will face either Sara Sorribes Tormo or third seed Peng Shuai next.

Maria Sharapova cruised to the second semifinal of the year at the Tianjin Open.

Voegele and Sharapova shared early break, but from the sixth game the Russian took control of the match.

Aryna Sabalenka and Sara Errani will meet in the other semi-final following victories over Zhu Lin and Christina McHale respectively.

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