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Maria Sharapova to clash with China’s Peng Shuai in semifinals of 2017 Tianjin Open

October 13, 14:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW

It took the Russian tennis star one hour and four minutes to defeat her Swiss rival

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© AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. Russia’s Maria Sharapova has defeated Swiss qualifier Stefanie Vogele in the quarterfinal of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tournament held in China’s Tianjin.

It took the Russian tennis star one hour and four minutes to beat Voegele, 6-3 6-1.

Sharapova’s semifinal opponent on Saturday will be 3rd-seed Peng Shuai of China, who is the tournament’s reigning champion.

It took less than an hour for Peng in the quarterfinals to take care of Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo and advance to the semifinals with 6-0, 6-1 straight sets win over the Spanish player.

"Obviously she really likes playing here and is the defending champion, so she feels really good about the court and the atmosphere," the WTA (Women Tennis Association) official website quoted Sharapova as saying about her upcoming encounter with China’s Peng Shuai.

"We haven’t played in a long time and I know that it will be a tough match, just because it's the semifinals and when you get to the latter stages it's not getting easier," Sharapova said. "She really likes playing here and is playing well, and I hope to rise to the occasion."

Besides the victory over Voegele on Friday, wildcard-invited Sharapova packed straight sets wins over 9-seed Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania and Poland’s Magda Linette.

Although the annual WTA Tianjin Open is held for the fourth time, this year’s competition was a debut appearance at the tournament for Sharapova.

The WTA Tianjin Open tennis tournament in China puts $426,750 in prize money up for grabs and the organizers of the tennis competition in China, held between October 9 and 15, granted Sharapova a wildcard to enter the tournament.

Sharapova is Russia’s most decorated tennis player having won a total of five Grand Slam tournaments, namely the Australian Open in 2008, the French Open in 2012 and 2014, Wimbledon in 2004 and the US Open in 2006.

She also clinched the silver in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and was the 2008 Federations Cup champion.

After a 15-month long suspension for violating anti-doping regulations, Sharapova made her comeback to tennis in April at Stuttgart, where she stormed into the semifinals round of the tournament.

At the 2017 China Open, which closed last Sunday in Beijing, Sharapova lost in the third round stage and failed to advance further to the quarterfinals.

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