Maria Sharapova has reached the quarter-finals of the Tianjin Open with a 7-5 6-3 defeat of Poland's Magda Linette.
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.
The Russian won the opening set after a brief struggle, suffering her only break of serve in the second game of the second set.
Thursday's victory marks the third last-eight showing of the season for the five-time grand-slam victor from Russian Federation, fighting to revive her ranking after serving a 15-month suspension for using an illegal doctor-prescribed medication.
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Sharapova advances to face Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele, who posted a 6-2, 6-3 win over fifth-seeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan. "I feel like I made a few too many errors on my return game which ultimately led to a hard first set but once I broke her early in that second set, I played a really good aggressive game and I felt like I had the momentum in the second".
Peng Shuai, a victor of singles and doubles titles at this tournament past year, cruised to a 6-2 6-2 win over Wang Xiyu in an all-Chinese second-round encounter.
Third seed and defending champion Peng Shuai coasted into the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over fellow Chinese countrywoman Wang Xiyu while American Christina McHale upset sixth-seed Greek Maria Sakkari, 6-0 6-4.
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