nsucurrent.com February 22, 2018

Maria Sharapova receives main draw wildcard into US Open

16 August 2017, 03:27 | Nina Perez

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

This will be Sharapova's 11th appearance in the US Open main draw.

Sharapova, the 2006 champion in Flushing Meadows has struggled with injuries since reaching the semifinals in Stuttgart, her first tournament back.

The Russian star is now ranked no. 148 in the world as she continues to fight through her comeback year since her 15 month doping ban.

"Her suspension under the terms of the tennis anti-doping program was completed and therefore was not one of the factors weighed in our wildcard selection process", the USTA said in a statement.

By not competing, she missed some great chances to improve her game and her ranking before the US Open.

MARIA SHARAPOVA has been given a wildcard into the US Open.

Other players handed wildcards include young last year's US Open junior champion Kayla Day and former junior world number one, Taylor Townsend. She was unaware when she was tested positive for the drug meldonium in 2016 which got added to the banned drugs items list only in January the very same year.

"Consistent with past practice, a wild card was provided to a past US [Open] champion who needed the wild card for entry into the main draw".

Sharapova thanked the officials and said the decision to let her play in the US Open main draw for an 11th time gave her goosebumps.

Even though she made her comeback much earlier, she was denied wildcard entry in the French Open and did not participate in her favourite Wimbledon due to thigh injury.

The US Open, which offers $24 million in prize money up for grabs, is scheduled to be held between August 28 and September 10 at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in NY. This will be Russian tennis star's first Grand Slam after coming back from the 15-month doping suspension. "She said something like "good job" and smiled".

Sharapova was forced to withdraw from the Rogers Cup and the ongoing Cincinnati Open as a precautionary measure.

In her first USA match since March 2015, Sharapova defeated American Jennifer Brady 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 at Stanford.

The 30-year-old Sharapova has not appeared in a Grand Slam since losing to American Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals in 2016.

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