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By Chineze Ogugua

Maria Sharapova lifted her first title since May 2015 as she defeated Aryna Sabalenka 7-5 7-6 (10-8) in the Tianjin Open final.

Maria Sharapova

The 30-year-old who returned to the tour in April from a 15-month drug ban clinched her 36th WTA victory under two hours and five minutes after she had trailed 4-1 in the two sets.

The Russian, who began the week ranked 86th in the world, received a wildcard for the event in China.

Sharapova now moves up to the 57th on the world rankings by this victory.

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