Sharapova wins first title since drug ban

Maria Sharapova has won her first title since returning from a drugs ban, having beaten Aryna Sabalenka in the Tianjin Open final.

The 30-year-old Russian was playing her seventh event since she returned to the tour in April from a 15-month drug ban.

She trailed 4-1 in both sets before overcoming the 19-year-old Belarusian, who was contesting her first WTA final, in two hours and five minutes.

Sharapova cut a very relieved figure after this triumph which is the 36th of her career.

Title #36 ?!!!!!! This one feels oh so good ?

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It’s been a rough year for her.

She was denied a wildcard for the French Open, missed Wimbledon through injury and reached the US Open fourth round as a wildcard before losing to Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova.

The former world number one will hope that this success triggers a return to form at the big tournaments.