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Last Updated Friday November 17 2017 03:27 PM IST

Sharapova through to quarterfinals

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Sharapova through to quarterfinals Maria Sharapova makes a backhand during her match against Erkaterina Makarova in Stuttgart on Thursday. Getty Images

Berlin: Former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova eased past fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-1 on Thursday to reach the Stuttgart Grand Prix quarterfinals and continue her winning comeback from a 15-month doping ban.

The 30-year-old Russian, who has won five Grand Slams and is among the highest-paid athletes in the world, returned to action on Wednesday with a straight sets win over Roberta Vinci following her suspension for the use of banned substance meldonium.

Read also |  'Cheater' Sharapova should be banned for life: Bouchard

Sharapova, who had tested positive at the 2016 Australian Open, picked up from where she had left off against Vinci, powering through her first two service games without dropping a point but struggling somewhat with her return consistency.

Makarova also cleverly mixed up the height and depth of her shots during rallies on the very quick Stuttgart clay with Sharapova still lacking match practice.

Makarova wasted her only break opportunity at 5-5 and Sharapova never looked back. She earned her first break points a game later, powering a crosscourt forehand winner to grab the first set.

She broke Makarova twice in the second set to race 5-1 ahead and served out the match with an ace to set up a quarterfinal clash with Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit.

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The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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