Sharapova storms into Tianjin quarter-finals

AFP
Maria Sharapova in action against Magda Linette during their second round match at the Tianjin Open on October 12, 2017 (AFP Photo/)

Maria Sharapova in action against Magda Linette during their second round match at the Tianjin Open on October 12, 2017

Maria Sharapova in action against Magda Linette during their second round match at the Tianjin Open on October 12, 2017 (AFP Photo/)

Tianjin (China) (AFP) - 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 play Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele.

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.

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.

"We did a really good job of holding serve in the first set," Sharapova was quoted as saying by the WTA website.

"I feel like I made a few too many errors on my return game which ultimately led to a difficult first set.

"But once I broke her early in that second set I played a really good aggressive game and I felt like I had the momentum in the second."

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