It turns out that Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova is gradually making her comeback since the tumultuous doping scandal in 2016.
After winning the Tianjin Open title in China on Sunday, Sharapova moved up 29 places from No. 86 to No. 57 in the WTA rankings. Her 7-5, 7-6(8) victory in the final over Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus also earned the Russian her first title in two years.
#36 I will always remember you 🏆 pic.twitter.com/GEczLqGRRd
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) October 15, 2017
Sharapova received a 15-month ban after testing positive for meldonium in January 2016. The former world No. 1 first returned to the tour in April when she earned a controversial wild card entry into the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany. Many tennis players were upset with the decision, including Caroline Wozniacki who said, “I think that’s a questionable thing to do.”
Since her semifinal finish at Stuttgart, Sharapova has not had any significant victories. She’s even had to drop out of the Wimbledon qualifying rounds due to a quad injury.
After winning the Tianjin Open, the 30-year-old is finally glad to be back on top.
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“Such a special, special tournament, and victory for me, one that I’ll remember forever,” Sharapova said after the match. “Sometimes you never know when it will all come together but it happened to me this week in Tianjin.”