WATCH: Maria Sharapova Wins 1st Title Since Doping Ban at Tianjin Open

By Bridget O'Donnell, October 16, 2017

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Maria Sharapova earned a major win at the Tianjin Open this weekend, picking up her first title since her 15-month doping ban began in early 2016.

The 30-year-old Russian tennis star defeated Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 7-5, 7-6 (10-8) in Sunday's final at Tianjin Tuanbo International Tennis Center.

Despite entering the tournament as a wild card, the world's 86th ranked player went on to enter the final against Sabalenka, initially trailing during both sets. Sharapova then came from behind for a dramatic comeback against the 19-year-old.

The former top-ranked player won her last title at the Italian Open in 2015. She was suspended from the sport after testing positive for meldonium, a newly banned drug, in January 2016. The suspension was lifted in April of this year.

"Such a special, special tournament, and victory for me, one that I'll remember forever," Sharapova said of the milestone win. "Sometimes you never know when it will all come together but it happened to me this week in Tianjin."

Watch the highlights from the final below (VPN off):

[Image via BBC]

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