Sharapova storms into Tianjin quarter-finals

The Russian former world number one defeated Magda Linette of Poland 7-5, 6-3.

Maria Sharapova   -  Getty Images

Maria Sharapova surged into the Tianjin Open quarter-finals 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 next play either Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele or fifth seed Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

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.

WATCH: Sharapova overwhelmed by 'incredible' China fanbase

Sharapova, a five-time major-winner, 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 quarter-final since her return to action.

Peng Shuai, a winner of singles and doubles titles at this tournament last year, cruised to a 6-2 6-2 win over Wang Xiyu in an all-Chinese second-round encounter.

Third seed Peng broke twice in each set to send her compatriot packing in an hour and 20 minutes. Peng will now face Sara Sorribes Tormo, who beat Wang Yafan 6-4 2-6 6-3.

Sixth seed Maria Sakkari crashed out, losing 6-0 6-4 to Christina Mchale, while Sara Errani, Aryna Sabalenka and Zhu Lin all advanced.

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