SHENZHEN, China - Maria Sharapova edged past Zarina Diyas, 6-3, 6-3 to advance into the semifinals of the Shenzhen Open.
"I’m glad that I ended up being the winner of the match," Sharapova said during her on-court 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."
Diyas has been ranked as high as World No.33, but after a long battle with injuries was ranked outside the Top 200 last spring before working her way back into the Top 70. Forcing the Russian into several tough games, Diyas struck 11 winners to 15 unforced errors and saved seven of 11 break points against her.
It was Sharapova who ultimately dictated play against the flat-hitting Kazakh, hitting 24 winners of her own to 22 unforced errors, and five aces to clinch victory in just under 90 minutes.
"I feel like I’m having a nice little tour of China; it’s my fourth Chinese city in a few months," the Tianjin Open champion noted. "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."
The tour continues for the five-time Grand Slam champion, who will play defending champion and No.6 seed Katerina Siniakova for a spot in the final.