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Sharapova storms into Tianjin quarterfinals

By   /  October 13, 2017  /  Comments Off on Sharapova storms into Tianjin quarterfinals

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Author: AFPFri, 2017-10-13 03:00ID: 1507836536927350200TIANJIN: Maria Sharapova surged into the Tianjin Open quarterfinals on Thursday as she pursues her first tournament victory since her return from a doping ban.The Russian former world No. 1 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 quarterfinal 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.”Tearful Wozniacki and Svitolina pull out injured in Hong KongDefending champion Caroline Wozniacki and world No. 4 Elina Svitolina both withdrew from the Hong Kong Open with injuries Thursday, leaving the WTA event devastated after a spate of pre-tournament pullouts and early big name exits.A tearful third seed Wozniacki appeared on center court just after her second-round match against Lizette Cabrera had been due to start to announce she had injured her elbow in practice.“I want to apologize to everyone who came out today to watch this match,” said an emotional Wozniacki, who won the title on the same court 12 months ago.“I did everything I could possibly to get ready for today,” she told the crowd.“But unfortunately I hurt my elbow during practice and there’s just no way I could perform my best out here today.“Unfortunately I have to withdraw from the tournament,” she added choking back tears.Top seed Svitolina earlier withdrew from her last-16 match against Nicole Gibbs citing a right groin strain sustained during a mammoth, 3hr 21min quarterfinal defeat in Beijing last week to the eventual champion there, Caroline Garcia.“I picked up the injury a little bit in Beijing,” she said. “It’s the groin. All the time when I go for wide shots or stretch I feel it.Ukraine’s Svitolina and Denmark’s Wozniacki both have one eye on this month’s lucrative WTA Finals in Singapore where the top eight will battle it out for a massive $7 million prize fund.“I will probably do some scans now to see how it is, because you know I have Singapore,” admitted Svitolina. “It’s a tough decision because I really wanted to play here.”
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  • Published: 6 months ago on October 13, 2017
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  • Last Modified: October 13, 2017 @ 12:40 am
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