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Maria Sharapova awarded main draw wildcard at US Open

Maria Sharapova will make her first grand slam appearance in over 18 months after she was denied a wildcard by the French Open authorities.

tennis Updated: Aug 15, 2017 21:55 IST
Maria Sharapova,US Open,Maria Sharapova Tennis
Maria Sharapova was awarded the wildcard for the main draw of US Open.(AFP)

Five-time major champion Maria Sharapova of Russia will play her first Grand Slam event since serving a 15-month doping suspension after receiving a wildcard Tuesday into the US Open.

Sharapova, ranked 148th, has withdrawn from US Open warm-up tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati the past two weeks after suffering a left forearm injury at Stanford.

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Former world number one Sharapova won the 2006 US Open as well as Wimbledon in 2014, the 2008 Australian Open and the 2012 and 2014 French Opens.

But she tested positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open and was suspended by the International Tennis Federation, a ban that ended in April.

Since then, Sharapova has needed wildcards to get into tournaments, drawing criticism from some fellow professionals.

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After missing Wimbledon with a thigh injury, Sharapova played her first US match since March 2015 at Stanford, defeating American Jennifer Brady 6-1, 4-6, 6-0.

But in the triumph, Sharapova suffered the forearm injury that has sidelined her since, even after arriving in Cincinnati hopeful of playing as a wildcard in the final major tuneup before the US Open.

“Following the doctor’s advice on-site, as a precaution for the US Open, I am unfortunately withdrawing from the tournament with the left forearm injury I sustained in Stanford,” Sharapova said.

First Published: Aug 15, 2017 21:51 IST