Maria Sharapova cruised into the quarterfinals of the Tianjin Open on Thursday with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Poland's Madga Linette in Tianjin, China.
Sharapova recorded three aces to aid in the pursuit of her first tournament victory since returning from a 15-month suspension for taking the banned substance meldonium.
The 30-year-old Russian rebounded from being broken in her second service game of the second set by breaking her foe on two occasions. Linette, who is ranked 71st in the world, saved the first match point on her serve and then two more on Sharapova's serve before the five-time Grand Slam champion ended the match in 1 hour, 38 minutes.
"We did a really good job of holding serve in the first set," Sharapova said after the match. "I feel like I made a few too many errors on my return game which ultimately led to a difficult first set but once I broke her early in that second set, I played a really good aggressive game and I felt like I had the momentum in the second."
Sharapova advances to face Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele, who posted a 6-2, 6-3 win over fifth-seeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan. Voegele collected four aces and took advantage of four double faults to dismiss Putintseva in 1 hour, 37 minutes.
Third seed and defending champion Peng Shuai coasted into the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over fellow Chinese countrywoman Wang Xiyu while American Christina McHale upset sixth-seed Greek Maria Sakkari, 6-0 6-4.
Italian qualifier Sara Errani continued her surge on her comeback from a two-month doping ban with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Also on Thursday, Lin Zhu cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 win over Chinese Taipei's Su-Wei Hsieh, Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka posted a 6-3, 6-3 triumph versus China's Ying-Ying Duan and Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo needed three sets to record a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 victory over China's Yafan Wang.