Tianjin Open: Maria Sharapova beats Stefanie Voegele to reach semi-final

Tianjin Open Maria Sharapova tames Magda Linette enters quarter-finals

Sharapova advances to face Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele, who posted a 6-2, 6-3 win over fifth-seeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

Sharapova has not added to her huge haul of titles since returning from a doping ban, but remains in the hunt for a 36th WTA Tour singles success after claiming the only break of the first set and two in the second to prevail. For a spot in the semifinals, Sharapova will play qualifier Stefanie Voegele, a 6-2, 6-3 victor over fifth seed Yulia Putintseva in one hour and 37 minutes. 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.

"We did a really good job of holding serve in the first set", Sharapova said after the match.

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Third-seeded Peng Shuai advanced with a 6-2, 7-6 (5) victory over Chinese countrywoman Hanyu Guo and Greek Maria Sakkari coasted to a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Fangzhou Liu of China. But Voegele quickly let Sharapova back on serve, double faulting down break point in the very next game. She saw off 71st-ranked Linette in just over 98 minutes to reach only her second quarter-final since her return to action.

Aryna Sabalenka and Sara Errani will meet in the other semi-final following victories over Zhu Lin and Christina McHale respectively.

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