Sharapova reaches Tianjin tennis semis

Maria Sharapova reached her second semi-final since returning to tennis in April, hammering Swiss Stefanie Voegele 6-3 6-1 at the Tianjin Open in China.

Russia's Maria Sharapova has thrashed Swiss Stefanie Voegele to reach the Tianjin Open semi-finals.

Russia's Maria Sharapova has thrashed Swiss Stefanie Voegele to reach the Tianjin Open semi-finals.

Sharapova is starting to show resilience after a run of injuries had kept her from attempting to qualify for the French Open and Wimbledon; she reached the fourth round of the US Open last month.

The 30-year-old, with five grand-slam titles, made a quick start on Friday against the 196th-ranked Voegele, taking the first set and leading 4-0 in the second.

The Swiss won a final game - her fourth - before falling in 64 minutes with eight double-faults.

Wildcard Sharapova advanced with five breaks of serve while losing her own once.

Former world No.1 Sharapova, ranked 86th after coming back following a 15-month doping ban, also reached the semis six month ago at her comeback event in Stuttgart.

In the semi-finals, Sharapova - who has not dropped a set all week in China - will play defending champion Peng Shuai.

The Chinese third seed thrashed Spain's Sara Sorribes 6-0 6-1.

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus is also through to the quarters, beating Zhu Lin of China 6-3 6-4.

Sabalenka will face Italian Sara Errani who has come back to defeat American Christina McHale 5-7 7-6 (7-2) 6-1.

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