Maria Sharapova beats Aryna Sabalenka to win Tianjin Open

Maria Sharapova beats Aryna Sabalenka to win Tianjin Open
Current world no. 57, Maria Sharapova has beaten Aryna Sabalenka 7-5 7-6 (10-8) to win the Tianjin Open final. Her first title since May 2015.

The Russian tennis superstar was playing her seventh event since she returned to the tour in April from a 15-month drug ban.

The 30-year-old trailed 4-1 in both sets before launching a great comeback against the 19-year-old Belarusian, who was contesting her first WTA final, in two hours and five minutes.

Sharapova reached the Tianjin Open after beating Shuai Peng 6-3 6-1. It is the five-time Grand Slam winner’s 36th WTA tournament victory.

After her return, Sharapova was denied a wildcard for the French Open and also missed Wimbledon through injury and reached the US Open fourth round as a wildcard before losing to Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova.

The Russian, who began the week ranked 86th in the world, received a wildcard for the event in China.

Sharapova came into the tournament ranked 86th but the win would move her up to number 57 in the world rankings.

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