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Sharapova reaches first semi-final since returning from ban

Sharapova reaches first semi-final since returning from ban
Former world number one Maria Sharapova reached the fourth round of this year’s US Open

Maria Sharapova reached her first semi-final since returning from a doping ban as she beat Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele at the Tianjin Open.

The Russian took one hour and five minutes to beat Voegele, ranked 196th in the world, 6-3 6-1 in China.

Sharapova was broken in the first game of the match but hit back straight away, using her forehand to break down her opponent.

She will face either Sara Sorribes Tormo or third seed Peng Shuai next.

Sharapova, who returned from a 15-month ban in April, has yet to drop a set in Tianjin.

After taking the first set with a love hold, the world number 86 won five consecutive games to take control of the second, before sealing the match with a forehand winner.

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