Published: Sun, January 06, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Injured Maria Sharapova retires from Shenzhen quarters

Injured Maria Sharapova retires from Shenzhen quarters

Aryna Sabalenka has got a confidence boost for the upcoming Australian Open by beating Alison Riske 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 in China's Shenzhen Open final on Saturday.

Sabalenka - who capped off a breakthrough season previous year with titles at Wuhan and New Haven - made it to the semi-finals after former world number one Maria Sharapova abandoned her quarter-final tie on Friday after struggling with a thigh injury. "Hopefully she will get well soon". It set a second meeting against the 20-year-old Belarusian who held Ekaterina Alexandrova to three-game wins in straight sets.

In Perth, Germany will meet Switzerland today in a repeat of last year's Hopman Cup final, after downing Australia 2-1 yesterday.

In the final, the Belarusian's ultra-aggressive tennis proved the difference as she battled back to record a fine victory.

"But the shots are there. you have to get it up to another gear".

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Sharapova received off-court medical treatment between the two sets. "She played unbelievable, an incredible match", Sabalenka said after winning her third title. "She was putting everything in, down the lines - I'm so happy that I found a way how to win".

It's the third time in four years that Riske finished second in Shenzhen.

Sabalenka will face either Romanian qualifier Monica Niculescu or Wang Yafan of China in the semifinals.

The Australian Open begins in Melbourne on Jan 14.

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