(Reuters) – Former world primary Maria Sharapova cruised previous Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas and into the semi-finals of the Shenzhen Open in China on Thursday.
Sharapova, who gained 6-Three 6-Three, struck 24 winners and 5 aces to remain on the right track for a title conflict with top-ranked Simona Halep after the Romanian dismissed Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-2.
“I‘m glad that I ended up being the winner of the match,” Sharapova stated in a courtside interview.
“I didn’t play my best tennis and there’s certainly a lot of things to improve on in the next. The great thing is that I‘m through and have another chance to play tomorrow.”
The five-times grand slam champion dedicated 22 unforced errors within the match however stepped up her recreation at decisive moments of the competition to get previous her spirited rival.
Sharapova’s solely title in 2017 got here on the Tianjin Open, after she got here again from a 15-month doping ban, and the world quantity 59 is aiming for a title-winning begin to the 12 months in her first go to to Shenzhen.
“I feel like I‘m having a nice little tour of China. It’s my fourth Chinese city in a few months,” Sharapova added.
“It’s obviously been a great welcome here. It took many years for me to play this event but I‘m really glad that I did.”
Sharapova performs Katerina Siniakova subsequent after the defending champion beat fellow Czech Kristyna Pliskova 6-2 6-2.
Earlier, fourth seed Irina-Camelia Begu needed to work laborious to beat Timea Babos 7-5 7-5 to arrange a semi-final assembly together with her compatriot Halep.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, enhancing by Pritha Sarkar