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WTA TIANJIN - Sharapova back into the quarterfinals

WTA TIANJIN - Sharapova back into the quarterfinals

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by Alessandro Mastroluca

Maria Sharapova reached at the Tianjin Open the second quarterfinal of the season, beating Magda Linette 7-5 6-3. Sharapova faced a tough task before completing teh 12th win of her 2017, the number 572 in her career. In her first clash against the Pole, who finished the match with five unconverted games, the former World No.1 saved all five break points in the eighth game of the first set but got the most important break in the 12th game to take the first set 7-5.

The second, despite an early break, became more straightforward. Linette tenaciously saved the first match point on her serve and then two more on the Sharapova serve. But the Russian sealed her berth in the second quarterfinal of the year, afer her Stuttgart run to the semifinals in her first event after the suspension, against Stefanie Voegele who beat Yulia Putintseva, 6-2, 6-3.

"We did a really good job of holding serve in the first set," said Sharapova after the match. "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." Christina McHale beat the sixth seed Maria Sakkari 6-4 6-0 to reach the third quarterfinal of the year.

The American had reached the semifinals at Acapulco and Tokyo earlier this season and continued her bid to seal her first WTA final in 2017 thanks to five break from seven looks, winning nine of 12 close games against the Greek who gained no more than 49% of first serve points.

Aryna Sabalenka moved to the quarterfinals for the second time in her career as she dominated Ying-Ying Duan, once famously labelled the Chinese Davenport. She will face for the first time Lin Zhu as she defeated Su-Wei Hsieh to claim the 18th WTA main draw victory in her career.

Italian qualifier Sara Errani celebrated her seventh win in her last 10 matches against lefty opponents as she defeated Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-4 4-6 6-3. Errani won the 11th match against a higher ranked player this year to reach the third quarter-final of the year against Christina McHale whom she beat four times in six previous meetings.

The Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo confirmer her very successful performaces in the three set matches this season. Against Yafan Wang, the Wworld no.92 won the 12 deciders out of 17 played, completing a 6-4 2-6 6-3 victory over the Chinese player who wasted a 2-0 lead in the final set.

Sorribes will face Chinese No.2 Shuai Peng for the first time. Peng offered a dominating performance to clinch the 40th win of the year, without losing a break, after beating the local wildcard Xiyu Wang 6-2 6-2. .

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