Maria Sharapova handed wildcard entry to Cincinnati Masters ahead of US Open

Former World No 1 and five-time Grand Slam title winner Sharapova is still rebuilding her career following a 15-month doping ban which ended in April.

AFP July 28, 2017 10:58:39 IST
Maria Sharapova handed wildcard entry to Cincinnati Masters ahead of US Open

Los Angeles: Maria Sharapova was on Thursday handed a wildcard into the Cincinnati WTA tournament, a key warm-up for the US Open, the season's final Grand Slam which has yet to guarantee the Russian star a place.

Former World No 1 and five-time Grand Slam title winner Sharapova is still rebuilding her career following a 15-month doping ban which ended in April.

Maria Sharapova handed wildcard entry to Cincinnati Masters ahead of US Open

File photo of Maria Sharapova. Getty Images

Injury then ruled her out of contention for Wimbledon where she had been due to play qualifying after French Open organisers had refused her a wildcard.

The Cincinnati event, which runs from August 12-20, also granted a wildcard to Victoria Azarenka, the two-time major winner who only recently returned to the tour after maternity leave.

"The addition of these players add to our already strong player field," said tournament director Andre Silva.

"We anticipate the WTA's No 1 ranking to be on the line during the tournament and adding players of this calibre will make the battle for the top spot even more compelling."

Sharapova, 30, was the champion in Cincinnati in 2011 with Azarenka taking the title two years later.

Sharapova, now ranked 173 in the world, hasn't played since being injured in Rome in May but will return next week at the Stanford tournament.

The Russian star tested positive for meldonium, a heart and blood boosting drug, at the 2016 Australian Open. She said that she had taken it for several years and did not know it had been placed on the banned list at the beginning of 2016.

Sharapova was issued a two-year suspension, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced the ban on appeal.

On her return to the sport in Stuttgart in April, she reached the semi-finals.

However, she has relied on wildcards to play in events with many players critical of the decision to invite her against the background of her doping ban.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Delray Beach Open: Cristian Garin, John Isner top seeds for ATP tour opener
Sports

Delray Beach Open: Cristian Garin, John Isner top seeds for ATP tour opener

Garin, ranked 22nd, and top-ranked American John Isner, 25th overall, lead a 28-player field at the start of a revamped schedule that will not return to US soil until the Miami Open in March.

WTA releases provisional tennis schedule through end of Wimbledon in July
Sports

WTA releases provisional tennis schedule through end of Wimbledon in July

The biggest event missing from the schedule is the joint WTA-ATP hard-court tournament in Indian Wells, California.

Australian Open 2021: Andy Murray tests COVID-19 positive, participation in doubt
Sports

Australian Open 2021: Andy Murray tests COVID-19 positive, participation in doubt

Murray, who has finished runner-up in Melbourne on five separate occasions, is currently isolating at home, and is still hopeful of competing in the tournament.