Maria Sharapova is on course to win her first WTA title since serving a 15 month drugs ban for testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.
The former five times Grand Slam winner and world number one is in the final of the WTA Tianjin Open after beating Shuai Peng 6-3 6-1 in her semi-final.
Sharapova, who was given a wildcard entry to the tournament, will play Belarus’ 19-year-old Aryna Sabalenka who beat Sara Errani, winner of nine WTA titles, 6-1 6-3 in 58 minutes.
The Russian goes into Sunday’s final without dropping a set all week as she looks for her first title since defeating Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro to win the Italian Open in May 2015.
Sharapova, who described her ban from tennis as ‘unfairly harsh,’ broke Peng’s serve in her first game and dominated the first set from the back line.
Now ranked 86, Sharapova raced into an early 3-0 lead in the second set and saw off her Chinese opponent in 78 minutes to reach her first final in two and a half years.