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Maria Sharapova will be tough to beat in 2018 tennis season: Chris Evert

Maria Sharapova will enjoy plenty of success in the 2018 tennis season after her comeback from a doping ban, believes women’s tennis great Chris Evert.

tennis Updated: Oct 28, 2017 16:41 IST
Maria Sharapova,Chris Evert,tennis
Maria Sharapova holds her trophy after winning her women's singles final match against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus at the Tianjin Open tennis tournament in Tianjin on October 15, 2017. Chris Evert believes Sharapova is poised for more success in the upcoming calender year. (AFP)

Maria Sharapova to be win plenty of titles in 2018 after making her comeback from a doping ban this year, believes Chris Evert.

The five-time grand slam champion missed 15 months on the WTA Tour after testing positive for banned substance meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

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Maria Sharapova returned to tennis action in April and claimed her first title since the 2015 Internazionali d’Italia in Tianjin this month, beating Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets.

It was a welcome triumph for the 30-year-old, and Evert believes the Russian will enjoy much more success over the next 12 months.

“I think she’s had a successful comeback,” 18-time grand slam champion Evert told Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Media. “She was injured - that was the only setback, her body.

“But I think every time she was put in a situation to win a match, and she was healthy, she was just as great a competitor as she ever has been.

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“And if she can stay healthy she’s going to be tough to beat next year.”

Maria Sharapova’s final tournament of 2017 ended in disappointment as her Kremlin Cup return was short-lived, losing to Magdalena Rybarikova in the first round.

First Published: Oct 28, 2017 12:37 IST