TIANJIN, China - Maria Sharapova battled to the quarterfinals of the Tianjin Open, beating Poland's Magda Linette 7-5, 6-3.
Sharapova was seeking her third quarterfinal of 2017, but found herself facing a tough task against Linette. The Russian led 4-3, saving all five break points against her to stay in front - but got the most important break in the 12th game, finally making inroads on the Linette serve to take the first set 7-5.
The second set was more straightforward for the five-time Grand Slam champion, even though she was broken in her second service game. She hit back to break twice, but the tenacious World No.71 saved the first match point on her serve and then two more on the Sharapova serve.
She could not fend off the Russian for too much longer, though, and Sharapova booked her place in the next round, where she will face Stefanie Voegele, who beat Yulia Putintseva, 6-2, 6-3.
"We did a really good job of holding serve in the first set," said Sharapova after the match. "I feel like I made a few too many errors on my return game which ultimately led to a difficult first set but once I broke her early in that second set, I played a really good aggressive game and I felt like I had the momentum in the second."