Monday, 20 August, 2018


Maria Sharapova beats Shuai Peng to reach Tianjin Open final

Sharapova topples Linette to reach Tianjin quarter-finals Sharapova topples Linette to reach Tianjin quarter-finals
Noah Ferguson | 14 October, 2017, 17:26

A five-time grand slam champion, Sharapova needed just 78 minutes to beat third seed Peng, and she will be hot favourite to claim the title on Sunday, when she will face World No 102 Aryna Sabalenka in the final.

On Friday, president of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) Shamil Tarpishchev told TASS - Maria Sharapova is unlikely to be a heavily-favored player of the 2017 VTB Kremlin Cup tennis tournament, to be held this month in Moscow.

"The finals are the stage that I want to be at and where I want to do well", Sharapova said.

Awaiting her in the final will be teenager Sabalenka, who will be bidding for her first WTA title after defeating Italy's Sara Errani 6-1 6-3.

The statuesque former world number one reached the Stuttgart semis but she retired in the Italian Open second round and also withdrew from her second-round match at Stanford.

But she will return next week, after taking a wild card.

If she wins this week's event in Tianjin, Sharapova's ranking would move inside the top 60. Her last play was in the final round in Rome in May, 2015, where she overplayed Spain's Carla Su·rez Navarro.

Sharapova, now ranked 86th, has also been handed a wildcard for next week's Kremlin Cup in Moscow, which she will play for the first time since 2007.

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