Sharapova granted US Open wildcard

Sharapova

After a 15-month long suspension for violating anti-doping regulations, Sharapova made her tour return in April at Stuttgart, reaching the semi-finals.

Sharapova failed to qualify automatically after plummeting down the rankings during a 15-month suspension for taking the banned substance meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

Sharapova was denied an entry into the French Open earlier this year after the tournament cited that wild cards given to athletes recovering from injuries and not doping bans.

The same injury had also forced her to withdraw from the Bank of the West Classic after winning her first match, and the Rogers Cup in Toronto. But she'll be back for the U.S. Open, a tournament she won in 2006 but one in which she has played sparingly in recent years, missing three of the previous four events.

The organisation added that Sharapova had volunteered to speak to young players at the USTA national campus about the importance of the tennis anti-doping programme and the responsibility each player has to comply with it. She must also be salivating at the chance to play what may well be the last Serena-less Slam. Williams is scheduled to give birth sometime around the end of this month (the tournament begins August 28), and tennis's grand slam ratings have been struggling without her.

Also receiving wild cards were: Taylor Townsend, reigning US Open girls' champion Kayla Day, 2017 NCAA singles champion Brienne Minor, US Open wild-card challenge victor Sofia Kenin, USTA Girls' 18s national champion Ashley Kratzer and Amandine Hesse of France.

Maria Sharapova hasn't played at Flushing Meadows in the U.S. Open since 2015, but that's changing due to an announcement by the U.S. Tennis Association.

The USTA on Tuesday granted the 148th-ranked player a wild card to the final major of the season.

Sharapova led a list of seven women given wild cards to the US Open, alongside five Americans and French world number 206 Amandine Hesse.

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