Sharapova marches into Tianjin semifinals

The Russian easily defeated Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 6-1 in 64 minutes.

Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return against Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland during their quarter-final match at the Tianjin Open.   -  AFP

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.

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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.

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