Smooth Sharapova cruises into Stuttgart semis

Former world number one Maria Sharapova cruised into the Stuttgart Grand Prix semi-finals on Friday, extending her winning comeback from a doping suspension with a smooth 6-3 6-4 victory over Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit.

Wildcard entrant Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam winner, returned to action only this week following her 15-month drugs ban, but has looked like she never really went away in winning her three matches so far without dropping a set.

Sharapova has also received wildcards for upcoming tournaments in Madrid and Rome, angering some players who say a doping offender should start from the lower-tier tournaments and earn back ranking points instead.

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