Sharapova Beats Shaky Competition in China for 1st WTA Title in More than Two Years
by Staff | October 15th, 2017, 10:54 pm

Convicted doper Maria Sharapova won her first title in more than two years on Sunday, defeating unheralded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 7-5, 7-6(8) in the final of the Tianjin Open.
“It is a special title, a special victory,” Sharapova said after beating one player ranked in the Top 25 during the week. “It has been a couple of years since I have held the winner’s trophy. It is a great feeling, a team effort.”

Her last title was at Rome in 2015.

Sabalenka will debut in the Top 100 after reaching the first final of her career.

The American-raised Sharapova will next play at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

“I am really looking forward to playing in my home country as the last event of the year,” said Sharapova. “Obviously coming there with the title already means a lot, but I do really want to finish strong, even though it is a very fast turnaround, and I don’t remember the last time that I played three events in a row. But I will give it everything I have got and I know I have so many amazing fans there.”

Sharapova was stretched in each set by the little-known teenager, who led by a break in both sets.

Sharapova improved to 36-23 in career finals.

Sabalenka, who as of Sunday had no photo and no bio info on the WTA website, beat Chinese players in the first three rounds then a qualifier in the semifinals. Prior to Wimbledon she played primarily ITF events, and lost in the qualifying of three of the four Grand Slams this year.

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5 Comments for Sharapova Beats Shaky Competition in China for 1st WTA Title in More than Two Years

Humble Rafa Says:

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus

OK, got it.

Pamela Says:

I get that many people don’t like Maria… It was like that before her suspension. Many of the tennis players, especially women were and still are very vocal about it. Yet, I find the way this article started is very demeaning and notice how there is no name. Only “staff”, which to me is even more messed up. Anyway, I am sure it still hurts Maria, but kudos to her for winning a title, however small and for at least externally ignoring all the haters. I wonder if Hingus was treated ike this when she was busted for cocaine use and suspended. Look at her now. before bethanie matter sands was injured they were number one in the doubles… so, people do come back and we should let Maria do the same.

Willow Says:

Pamela the suspension is over,but i didnt like her getting preferential treatment just because of marketing etc, but i agree that we should just leave her be to get on and play tennis, im not and never will be particularly keen on some of her antics on court, the time she takes between points etc, the screaming during points trying to put her opponents off, and things like taking a break to disrupt her opponents rythum, not really a fan of the type of tennis she plays either, but her fighting qualities are second to none, and please people before you start attacking we are all entitled to our own opinions ….

leo Says:

Lots of hate reeking through this article :-)

For a player outside the top 100 to beat a top 25 player -that’s a big win. yes?

Luke Thomas Says:

The ban she received was excessive for an administrative oversight as ruled by the C.A.S. So to receive the wild cards is justice. WADA should also need to show some evidence that Meldonium is a performance enhancer. This medication has been available over the counter since the 1970s and 25 years since the end of the Soviet Union so there is no reason that WADA should not be able to do more research than state prevalence of use by athletes of a current (bogey) nation. Recently, an Italian player was banned for an identical offence of taking a banned steroid accidentally. The steroid she claimed was her mother’s medicine that fell out of the kitchen cabinet into her tortellini. This resulted in a mere 2 month ban since the excuse was believed by the ITF. After the CAS ruling in Sharapova’s case that refuted most of the findings of the ITF tribunal, she was right to call them out. She allways stands her ground.

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