Maria Sharapova, 30, put the grip on her first WTA title after more than years and the first award of this kind since resuming her professional career after suspension. For the Russian, the WTA International title in Tianjin means a lot more than 280 points as she soared up the ranking to get in the vicinity of top 50. Today's newly updated ranking puts her on the 57th spot and she might have a great finish with the Kremlin Cup looming ahead. A Premier category event that may help Sharapova dig deep in this last stage of the regular season. Back to professional Tennis since April, her journey has been anything but smooth.

All those wild-card entries didn't help her much as the lack of results or injuries kept her away from the competitive pit.

Tianjin Open saw a dominant Sharapova throughout the whole week

Despite being a low-profile event, Tianjin Open saw a highly-motivated Maria Sharapova storming past every obstacle en route to her 36th WTA title and the first one since Premier 5 event from Rome back in 2015. At Tianjin, she put up a perfect display of tennis winning the title without dropping a single set throughout the whole tournament. One by one, Irina-Camelia Begu (ninth seed), Magda Linette, Stefanie Voegele, Shuai Peng( seeded third), and ultimately Aryna Sabalenka had to bow down to the Russian blistering force.

The women's final saw a young Belarusian named Sabalenka trying to push Sharapova over the edge. The young WTA rising star had the lead in both sets but had no antidote to stop Sharapova's surge in any of them. Two tight sets with Sharapova as the winner completed a great of tennis in Tianjin, China

The former world No. 1 Sharapova has now acquired a solid starting point for the months to come.

The season of 2017 may be a lost train but the 2018 Australian Open is just three months ahead and a good result in Moscow may put her closer to the potential seeded list in Melbourne.

Sharapova had to prove that she still has the game even without Meldonium

A top athlete being suspended after failing a drug test is bad news for sports.

In Maria Sharapova's case, the doping scandal and the 15-month ban cast an unwanted shadow of doubt over her entire professional career. Receiving numerous wild-cards once she was eligible for playing again did nothing but to fuel the resentment. Now, she is on a crusade to prove her value and to regain her lost status. Tianjin was the perfect playground and it'll be interesting to see how things will evolve from that point on.