Sharapova wins again in Stuttgart

Kei Nishikori – Roland Garros Player Profile

Judging by her performances at the Porsche Grand Prix, it hasn't taken Maria Sharapova very long to get back in the swing of things.

On Wednesday, the Russian marked her return from a 15-month drugs suspension by beating Roberta Vinci, and she followed that up on Thursday with another straight sets victory, this time over countrywoman Ekaterina Makarova, 7-5, 6-1.

"Being in the quarterfinals here again is quite special," said Sharapova, who is a three-time winner in Stuttgart.

She admitted to feeling less nervous than she was the day before.

"I felt I settled down a little bit. I was able to focus on the game. I executed a great plan today and I thought I was solid," she said.

Makarova earned just one break point during the entire contest, at 5-5 in the first set, but Sharapova saved it before converting her own break point opportunity in the next game to close out the opening set.

Having gotten her nose in front, Sharapova did not take her foot off the pedal.

She raced through the second set in quick time to dismiss Makarova for the seventh straight time in her career.

After the win, Sharapova was also asked to respond to fellow tennis pro Eugenie Bouchard's comments, which made headlines earlier in the week.

The Canadian said that Sharapova should have been banned for life after testing positive for meldonium.

"I don't have anything to say – I am way above that," was Sharapova's only response.

Sharapova was once one of Bouchard's heroes, but their relationship quickly cooled once Bouchard started making waves on tour.

The Russian is well known for not making friends with any of her fellow players, as Bouchard no doubt discovered very quickly.

Meanwhile, there was a big upset on the day, with top seed and home favourite Angelique Kerber going down 6-2, 7-5 to Kristina Mladenovic.

All of Thursday's results in Stuttgart

Kristina Mladenovic (France) beat Angelique Kerber (Germany) 6-2 7-5 
Maria Sharapova (Russia) beat Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) 7-5 6-1 
Anastasija Sevastova (Latvia) beat Johanna Konta (Britain) 6-3 7-5
Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) beat Elena Vesnina (Russia) 6-2 6-4 
Laura Siegemund (Germany) beat Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) 6-4 6-3
Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) beat Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 7-6 (7-2) 6-4