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Sharapova wins first title since return from ban

Sharapova served a 15-month ban after she tested positive for a banned substance. Credit: PA

Maria Sharapova has clinched her first WTA title since returning from a drugs ban after beating Aryna Sabalenka to win the Tianjin Open.

The five-time grand slam champion, a tournament wildcard, overcame Belarusian teenager Sabalenka 7-5 7-6 (10/8) in a straight-sets victory on Sunday.

Sharapova, who made her comeback in April, is celebrating her first title since she won the Italian Open back in May 2015.

Sharapova trailed world number 102 Sabalenka 4-1 and 5-1 in the first and second sets. But the 30-year-old Russian, who did not drop a set en route to Sunday's final, fought back on each occasion to claim her first title in 29 months.

Sharapova served a 15-month ban after she tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.

The former world number one was denied a wild card for the French Open, before missing Wimbledon through injury. She was granted a wild card for the US Open and reached the fourth round before losing to Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova.

Sharapova through to first final since drugs ban

Credit: PA

Maria Sharapova remains on course for a first WTA title since returning from a drugs ban after beating Peng Shuai in straight sets in the semi-finals of the Tianjin Open.

The five-time grand slam champion needed just 78 minutes to beat third seed Peng 6-3 6-1 and book a final date with world number 102 Aryna Sabalenka.

Sharapova, a tournament wildcard, made the perfect start by breaking Peng's serve in the first game of the match and closed out the set with another break.

Peng had held her own for much of the opening set but former world number one Sharapova broke early in the second and completed a comfortable win.

Sharapova, who made her comeback in April, has advanced to her first WTA final since May 2015 without dropping a set.

The 30-year-old will meet teenager Sabalenka in Sunday's final after the Belarusian defeated Italy's Sara Errani 6-1 6-3.

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Kyrgios fined over Shanghai retirement

Credit: PA

Nick Kyrgios has been stripped of his first-round prize money and fined an additional 10,000 dollars (approximately £7,500) after his controversial Shanghai Masters retirement.

The Australian left opponent Steve Johnson and umpire Fergus Murphy baffled when he shook hands and walked off court after losing the first set on a tie-break on Tuesday.

Kyrgios had become increasingly unhappy with Murphy and, after being given a point penalty for an audible obscenity during the tie-break, was heard to say he would quit if he lost the tie-break.

The 22-year-old later blamed a stomach bug but did not seek medical help on court and then went against ATP Tour rules by not having a medical examination following his retirement.

That has resulted in him losing the 21,085 US dollars (approximately £16,000) he would have earned in prize money.

The point penalty followed an earlier warning for smashing two balls angrily out of court, for which Kyrgios has been fined 10,000 dollars for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Explaining his withdrawal, Kyrgios wrote on Twitter: "I want to apologise to the fans in Shanghai and those that watched around the world on TV today.

''I've been battling a stomach bug for the last 24 hours and I tried to be ready, but I was really struggling on the court today, which I think was pretty evident from the first point.

''My shoulder started to hurt in the practice today, which didn't help either, and once I lost the first set I was just not strong enough to continue because I've not eaten much for the past 24 hours."

Kyrgios subsequently withdrew from his second-round doubles match on Wednesday.

This is the second year in a row where the Australian has found himself in hot water in Shanghai, although his punishment this time is much less severe than 12 months ago.

Kyrgios was fined more than 50,000 US dollars and banned from the ATP Tour for a lack of effort in his second-round match against Mischa Zverev, during which he argued with the umpire and fans.

Kyrgios retires in first round of Shanghai due to Stomach bug

Kyrgios has a history of controversial incidents within Tennis. Credit: PA

Nick Kyrgios has blamed a stomach bug for his mid-match retirement at the Shanghai Masters.

The Australian caused controversy at the tournament for the second straight year by walking off after losing the first set of his opening round match against Steve Johnson.

Kyrgios served a ban from the ATP Tour last year after showing a lack of effort in a second-round match against Mischa Zverev and arguing with the umpire and fans.

Kyrgios looked distracted and grumpy from the start against Johnson and, after being given a point penalty for an audible obscenity midway through the tie-break, was heard to say he would quit if he lost the tie-break.

Johnson served it out 7-5 and Kyrgios promptly walked to the net to shake hands, to the bemusement of his opponent and umpire Fergus Murphy.

Murphy asked Kyrgios if he needed medical help but, with boos ringing out, the Australian put his rackets in his bag and walked off court.

Kyrgios had grumbled throughout about Murphy and the officiating and, with nothing obvious ailing him and no medical time-outs taken, it appeared frustration had got the better of him.

But the 22-year-old blamed illness in explaining his sudden departure, saying on Twitter: "Guys I want to apologise to the fans in Shanghai and those that watched around the world on TV today.

"I've been battling a stomach bug for the last 24 hours and I tried to be ready but I was really struggling on the court today, which I think was pretty evident from the first point.

"My shoulder started to hurt in the practice today, which didn't help either, and once I lost the first set I was just not strong enough to continue because I've not eaten much for the past 24 hours.

"I'm hoping to be okay for the doubles and will make a decision tomorrow morning, hopefully off of a good night's sleep, which I didn't get last night!

"I'm gutted to be honest as I was keen to keep the good momentum that I built in Beijing going and finish the year strong. I'll do what I can to make sure I do."

Kyrgios arrived in Shanghai on the back of a run to the China Open final on Sunday, which he lost heavily to Rafael Nadal.

Nadal clinches sixth title of the season with China Open

Nadal has had a fine season so far. Credit: PA

World number one Rafael Nadal demolished Nick Kyrgios to win his sixth title of the season at the China Open.

The Spaniard won nine games in a row on his way to a comprehensive 6-2 6-1 victory to reclaim the trophy he last won in 2005.

It was another Jekyll and Hyde performance from the unpredictable Kyrgios, who battled bravely to fend off five break points in his opening service game.

However, having then been angered by a line call the Australian proceeded to complain to the umpire at two changes of end, which eventually cost him a penalty point at the start of the eighth game.

Nadal duly clinched his second break to take the first set, and despite a spirited response from Kyrgios who forced break points in the third game of the second, there was no stopping the 31-year-old.

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Evans handed one-year ban after testing positive for cocaine

The former British number two failed the test at the Barcelona Open in April Credit: PA

Dan Evans has been handed a one-year ban after testing positive for cocaine, the International Tennis Federation has announced.

The former British number two failed the test at the Barcelona Open in April and announced the news at an emotional press conference in June.

The ban has been backdated meaning Evans will be eligible to play again on April 24 next year.

Watson knocked out of Seoul Open

Credit: PA

Heather Watson was knocked out of the Seoul Open at the first hurdle as she lost 6-3 0-6 6-1 to Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Briton Watson, who had moved back into the top 100 after reaching the third round at Wimbledon, has now failed to get past the first round in Korea in four attempts.

Sorribes Tormo, ranked 14 places lower than Watson, broke serve four times in the final set to advance after one hour and 36 minutes.

The Spaniard will now take on third seed Kristyna Pliskova or local wildcard Han Na-lae in the next round.

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