Tianjin Open: Maria Sharapova routs Stefanie Voegele to set up semi-final against Peng Shuai

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

The Russian easily defeated Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 6-1 in 64 minutes and the former World No 1 will face China's Peng Shuai in the last four.

Sharapova returned in April from a 15-month suspension for taking the banned substance meldonium.

Maria Sharapova of Russia returns a shot against Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland during their match in the WTA Tianjin Open in northeastern China's Tianjin Municipality, Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. (Chinatopix via AP)

Maria Sharapova returns a shot against Stefanie Voegele during the Tianjin Open quarter-final. AP

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.

"Obviously she really likes playing here and is the defending champion so she feels really good about the court and the atmosphere," Sharapova said of Peng, according to the WTA website.

"We haven't played in a long time and I know that it will be a tough match, just because it's the semi-finals and when you get to the latter stages it's not getting easier.

"She really likes playing here and is playing well, and I hope to rise to the occasion," added Sharapova, yet to drop a set in three matches in Tianjin.

Peng, the third seed and reigning Tianjin champion, will offer a far sterner test than 196-ranked Voegele.

Sharapova and Peng have played one another six times before, with the Russian winning five of them.

Home hope Peng thrashed Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-0, 6-1 in their quarter-final.

In the other semi-final on Saturday, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus plays Italian qualifier Sara Errani.


Updated Date: Oct 13, 2017 19:22 PM

Also Watch

Watch: The true stories from Dharavi that inspired Rajinikanth's Kaala
  • Thursday, March 8, 2018 Watch: Cyrus Khan talks about Parkour, jumping across walls and why he hates sitting
  • Thursday, May 31, 2018 Unwind: India's basketball sensation Amjyot Singh has his eyes set on becoming an NBA regular
  • Monday, May 28, 2018 First Day First Showsha — Review of Solo: A Star Wars Story in 10 questions
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 Social Media Star: Rajkummar Rao and Bhuvan Bam open up about selfie culture, online trolls

Also See