Maria Sharapova storms into the semi-finals of the Stuttgart Open with straight-sets win over Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit

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Kont handle it

Russian star is playing her first tournament since a 15-month suspension for doping and cruised through 6-3 6-4

MARIA SHARAPOVA has stormed into the semi-finals of the Stuttgart Open with a straight-sets victory over Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit.

The Russian star, 30, is playing her first tournament since a 15-month suspension for doping – after being caught taking banned substance meldonium.

AP:Associated Press

Maria Sharapova has booked her place in the Stuttgart Open last-four

Yet Sharapova continued her impressive form, simply dismantling her Estonian opponent 6-3 6-4.


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Sharapova broke twice in the first set and once in the second to breeze past Kontaveit in just under an hour-and-a-half.

On the win, Sharapova said: “I served quite well and held my serve which gave me confidence, so I’m happy.

Maria Sharapova reacts to SunSport asking her a question after tennis comeback

Maria Sharapova breezed past Anett Kontaveit in the quarter-finals

EPA

Maria Sharapova breezed past Anett Kontaveit in the quarter-finals

Anna Kontaveit was no match for Maria Sharapova in Stuttgart

Getty Images

Anna Kontaveit was no match for Maria Sharapova in Stuttgart

“I kept myself in good shape, because once you lose it, it’s hard to get it back.”

Sharapova will now face Kristina Mladenovic in Saturday’s semi-final after she beat Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3 6-2.

By booking her place in the last-four, Sharapova has all but confirmed her spot in the top 300 in the world, with an expected ranking of 260.

Maria Sharapova returns to tennis at the Stuttgart Open after 15 month ban

Maria Sharapova is set to break into at least the world's top 300 now

AP:Associated Press

Maria Sharapova is set to break into at least the world’s top 300 now

Should the Russian make the final she could break into the top 200, while a win in Germany would bump her up to around No125.

However, not everyone has been happy to see Sharapova back on the court.

Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard called her a “cheater” earlier this week – following her win in Stuttgart against Roberta Vinca.

Tennis legend Boris Becker also urged Sharapova to stay humble… and grateful for her second chance.




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