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Tennis: Sharapova sails through semi-finals of Shenzhen Open

Sharapova eases into Shenzhen semi-finals. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Shenzhen, Guangdong, China Jan 04, 2018, 10.01 AM (IST)

Russian former world number one Maria Sharapova marched into the semi-finals of the Shenzhen Open on Thursday with a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 victory over Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

Sharapova, who has worked her way up to 59 in the world rankings since her return from a doping ban last year, will face either of the Czech pair Kristyna Pliskova or Katerina Siniakova in the last four in southern China.


The 30-year-old Sharapova, who is unseeded in the tournament that serves as a build-up to the Australian Open, is embarking on her first full season since returning from a 15-month drugs ban in April.

The five-time Grand Slam winner was never really in trouble against Diyas, who is 66 in the world and joins Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu in the Shenzhen semis.