Home / Other / Maria Sharapova Wins Her First Title in More Than Two Years

Maria Sharapova Wins Her First Title in More Than Two Years


Maria Sharapova celebrating her victory against Aryna Sabalenka in the final of the Tianjin Open on Sunday.

Wang Zhao/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Maria Sharapova came from behind in each set to Aryna Sabalenka, 7-5, 7-6 (8), on Sunday to win the Tianjin Open, her first WTA title in more than two years.

Sharapova, a former No. 1 and a five-time Grand Slam champion, returned to the tour in April after a 15-month doping ban. She entered the tournament ranked 86th in the world.

“It is a special title, a special victory,” Sharapova told reporters after the match.

She started the stronger, breaking Sabalenka in her opening service game, but struggled on serve and soon found herself trailing by 4-1 in the first set.

Sharapova managed to hold serve for the first time in the match at 4-2 and clung on grimly in the face of some hard hitting by Sabalenka, a 19-year-old Belarusian ranked 102nd, before converting her fourth break point of the next game to get back on serve at 4-3.

Her nerves settled, Sharapova began to hit her stride, breaking Sabalenka again to go up by 6-5 before closing out the set.

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