Sharapova is betting favorite to win French Open

Tennis authorities announce plans to step up anti-doping efforts

Maria Sharapova's first tournament since her controversial return to tennis is over after losing to Kristina Mladenovic of France in the Porsche Grand Prix semifinals.

Kontaveit was not afraid to go toe to toe with Sharapova but, from 3-2, lost five straight games in a barrage of powerful hitting from the Russian.

Kontaveit twice broke her opponent's serve in the second set, but with three breaks of her own, Sharapova never allowed herself to fall behind.

EPA/RONALD WITTEKMaria Sharapova of Russian Federation in action against her compatriot Ekaterina Makarova during their second round match at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, 27 April 2017.

Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfred and bet365 made five-time Grand Slam victor and former world No. 1 Sharapova the 6/1 favourite, the same odds as Romania's Simona Halep who has yet to claim a Grand Slam title. Only two of the seven top-ten players who started - second-seed Czech Karolina Pliskova and fourth-seeded Romanian Simona Halep - have survived to the quarter-finals. "She is showing great form at the moment, it's a semi-final, so I expect a really tough match", said Mladenovic on Sharapova.

Murray fought hard to beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

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Ramos-Vinolas eliminated Murray in the third round in Monte Carlo despite trailing 4-0 in the deciding set.

Murray will play fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria, who defeated lucky loser Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-1, 6-2.

"I think she is still mastering her "A Game". In the second set, Ramos-Vinolas squandered two break points at 3-3, and three at 4-4.

Nadal converted a break point in each set to secure his seventh straight clay-court victory.

Murray was originally going to skip the Barcelona Open but chose to play after that loss to Ramos-Vinolas. He has all the right things to be a good player. "I'm being offered wild cards from the tournament directors and I'm accepting them to be able to compete in the draw", Sharapova said.

"I'm visualising tactics better, as well, focusing on patterns".

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