US Open tennis wildcard gives Maria Sharapova goosebumps

Maria Sharapova described her wildcard for the US Open as “so, so special”, adding that it gave her goosebumps.

tennis Updated: Aug 16, 2017 13:18 IST
Maria Sharapova,US Open,tennis
In this Aug. 27, 2014, file photo, Maria Sharapova, of Russia, returns a shot to Alexandra Dulgheru, of Romania, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York. Sharapova has been granted a wild-card invitation for the U.S. Open's main draw. Sharapova is among eight women who were given entry into the 128-player field by the U.S. Tennis Association on Tuesday and by far the most noteworthy.(AP)

Maria Sharapova described her wildcard for the US Open as “so, so special”, adding that it gave her goosebumps.

The five-time grand slam champion will make her first major appearance since returning from a 15-month doping ban after being handed a wildcard for the main draw at Flushing Meadows.

Maria Sharapova last appeared at a slam at the 2016 Australian Open, reaching the quarter-finals, before it was then announced that she had tested positive for meldonium.

After returning in April, the former world number one was denied a wildcard for the French Open tennis in May, while a thigh injury forced her to miss Wimbledon.

But she now has the opportunity to replicate her 2006 success in New York, having pulled out of this week’s Western & Southern Open with an arm problem to focus on the final grand slam of the year.

And, reacting to the news, Sharapova posted on Twitter: “Thank you, @usopen. This is so so special. #goosebumps”

Maria Sharapova returned at the Stuttgart Open, losing to Kristina Mladenovic in the semi-finals.

However, her WTA Tour comeback has attracted significant controversy.

The 30-year-old received criticism from a number of players on tour after the announcement of her failed test, and Eugenie Bouchard labelled her “a cheater” and said she deserved a lifetime ban before beating her in the second round at the Madrid Open.

Her run to the last four in Stuttgart marks Maria Sharapova’s best performance since her return, with her early exit in Madrid followed by a second-round defeat in Rome before she pulled out at the same stage at the Bank of the West Classic due to her injured left forearm.

First Published: Aug 16, 2017 13:12 IST