Shenzhen - Russian former world number one Maria Sharapova
marched into the semi-finals of the Shenzhen Open on Thursday with a
comfortable 6-3, 6-3 victory over Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.
Sharapova, who has worked her way up to 59 in the world
rankings since her return from a doping ban last year, will face either of the
Czech pair Kristyna Pliskova or Katerina Siniakova in the last four in southern
The 30-year-old Sharapova, who is unseeded in the tournament
that serves as a build-up to the Australian Open, is embarking on her first
full season since returning from a 15-month drugs ban in April.
The five-time Grand Slam winner was never really in trouble
against Diyas, who is 66 in the world, and joins Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu in
the Shenzhen semis.