Sharapova beat Sabalenka in Tianjin Open final to win first title since returning from drug ban

Maria Sharapova, a tournament wildcard, overcame the Belarusian teenager Aryna Sabalenka 7-5 7-6 (10-8) in a straight-sets victory on Sunday.


The five-time grand slam champion was playing in her seventh event since returning to action in April after a 15-month suspension for the use of banned substance meldonium.

The former World No 1 had to come from 4-1 down in both sets and then failed to serve out the victory in the second set, before needing four match points to win a lengthy tie-break.

Victory has given Sharapova her first WTA title since the 2015 Italian Open and a 36th tour title in total.

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