Sharapova topples Linette to reach Tianjin quarter-finals
Maria Sharapova reached her third quarter-final of the year at theÂ Tianjin Open with a straight-sets victory over Magda Linette on Thursday.
The five-time grand slam champion,Â soundly beaten by new world number one Simona Halep in the China Open last week, saw offÂ Linette 7-5 6-3 to move into the last eight.
Sharapova has not added to her huge haul of titles since returning from a dopingÂ ban, but remains in the hunt for a 36th WTA Tour singles success after claiming the only break of the first set and two in the second to prevail.
The Russian's first-serve percentage was only 59 per cent, but she was able to overpower the Pole and saved nine break points to get the job done in two sets, setting up a meeting with Stefanie Voegele â€“ who oustedÂ Yulia Putintseva in the final match of the day.
PengÂ Shuai, aÂ winner ofÂ singles and doubles titles at this tournament last year, cruised to a 6-2 6-2 win over Wang Xiyu in an all-Chinese second-round encounter.
Third seedÂ Peng broke twice in each set to send her compatriot packing in an hour and 20 minutes. Peng will now faceÂ Sara Sorribes Tormo, who beatÂ Wang Yafan 6-4 2-6 6-3.
Sixth seed Maria Sakkari crashed out, losing 6-0 6-4 to Christina Mchale, whileÂ Sara Errani,Â Aryna Sabalenka and Zhu Lin all advanced.