Sharapova downs Linette to reach Tianjin quarters

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After the surprising run in Stuttgart, in her very first tournament after the suspension, Sharapova came back into the best four as she comfortably beat Stefanie Voegele 6-3 6-1 winning seven games in a row from 3-3 in the first.

The former world number one, targeting a first title since returning to the tour in April, raced to a 4-0 lead in the second set as an error-prone Voegele struggled on serve.

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The unseeded Russian has not dropped a set this week and recovered from an uncertain start to see off Voegele, who took advantage of three unforced errors and a double fault to break in the first game of the match but that was as good as it got for the qualifier. But the Russian delivered a down the line forehand victor and put pressure on the Swiss No.196 who lost her serve for the second time as she hit a second double fault on the fourth break point.

Maria Sharapova cruised into the quarterfinals of the Tianjin Open on Thursday with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Poland's Madga Linette in Tianjin, China.

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

She will face either Sara Sorribes Tormo or third seed Peng Shuai next. She saw off 71st-ranked Linette in just over 98 minutes to reach only her second quarter-final since her return to action.

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