Sharapova triumphs in Tianjin opener
Maria Sharapova made an impressive start to the Tianjin Open, beating Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets. Seeded ninth, Begu loomed as a tricky first-round opponent for Sharapova, but the former world number one from Russia swept to a 6-4, 6-2 victory. Currently ranked 86th after recently returning from a 15-month doping ban, Sharapova was granted a wildcard to play in the Chinese event. The 30-year-old, who returned to tennis in April after serving a suspension for taking the banned substance meldonium, has yet to win a tournament since returning to the sport. The five-time Grand Slam winner exited the China Open last week in the third round at the hands of Romania's Simona Halep, the newly crowned world number one.