Tennis

Sharapova wants to build on victory

Maria Sharapova is eyeing a strong finish to a season that began with a doping ban and hit a high on Sunday when she won her first title in two years.

The Russian, who rose 29 places to No. 57 in the latest world rankings, had defeated Belarusian teen Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 7-6(10-8) in the Tianjin Open final on Sunday.

She said she was looking forward to building on the success in Moscow this week at the Kremlin Cup, a tournament she has not appeared at since 2007.

"Obviously coming there with the title already means a lot, but I do really want to finish strong," said the 30-year-old, who accepted a wild card for her home tournament.

Sharapova, who had returned only in April after a 15-month doping ban, added that the Tianjin title felt special as it had been a couple of years since she held a winner's trophy.

She faces Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova in today's opening round. - REUTERS