TIANJIN, China – 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.”