Sharapova to play first major in 18 months at US Open
Aug 16, 2017, 15:28
Maria Sharapova who was handed a doping ban will be seen in US Open after a gap of 18 months from her professional slam appearance.
There will be no such barrier in NY; she'll slide straight into the main draw.
Since the Wimbledon shock loss, Williams, who is taking a break from the game as she gives birth to her first baby, has lost to Sharapova just once, including a 7-0 record in Grand Slam events. She is now ranked 148, outside the 104 number required to get directly into the Open draw.
"Additionally, Sharapova has volunteered to speak to young tennis players at the USTA National Campus about the importance of the tennis anti-doping program and the personal responsibility each player has to comply with the program's requirements", the statement said. Since her triumph in NY 11 years ago, she has only gone beyond the fourth round at the US Open once - reaching the semi-finals in 2012.
MARIA SHARAPOVA has been given a wildcard into the US Open.
The 30-year-old won the US Open in 2006 and last played there in 2014, but will be unseeded for this year's event in NY.
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.
"She has handled her suspension with dignity and respect", Bernard Giudicelli, president of the French Tennis Federation, said at the time.
Sharapova was suspended 15 months for her use of meldonium, a banned substance, and has returned to mixed reactions from fans and competitors.
"Previous US Open champions who have received US Open main draw wildcards include Martina Hingis, Lleyton Hewitt, Kim Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro", the statement added.
"Consistent with past practice, a wildcard was provided to a past United States champion who needed the wildcard for entry into the main draw".
Perez won last year's at the US Open, while Fourlis nabbed starts at the Australian and French Opens. Upon her comeback she was denied a wild card for both the main draw and qualifying into the French Open. Sharapova'sUS Open preparations have been disrupted by an arm injury suffered during her first round win over Jennifer Brady earlier this month.
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