Sharapova is given wild card for US Open

Maria Sharapova will play her first Grand Slam event since her doping suspension as the USTA granted the former champion a wild card into the main draw of the U.S. Open
The reason Serena Williams hates Maria Sharapova
Author

16 August, 2017

Maria Sharapova is expected to make her first Grand Slam appearance in over 18 months after being handed a a wildcard invitation for the US Open today.

There will be no such barrier in NY; she'll slide straight into the main draw.

Now ranked 148 in the world, the Russian has a lifetime 32-9 record in Flushing Meadows, including her 2006 title over Justine Henin.

"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.

In her US Open debut in 2003, Sharapova was ranked No. 54.

The USTA announced on Tuesday that Sharapova would get a wild card into the US Open, which begins in two weeks. But she'll be back for the U.S. Open, a tournament she won in 2006 but one in which she has played sparingly in recent years, missing three of the previous four events.

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Perez won last year's at the US Open, while Fourlis nabbed starts at the Australian and French Opens.

"Consistent with past practice, a wildcard was provided to a past USA champion who needed the wildcard for entry into the main draw".

Soon after that tournament, the International Tennis Federation suspended Sharapova after she failed a drug test for meldonium, which had been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency starting January 1 of that year.

Sharapova, who is soon to release her autobiography, Unstoppable: My Life So Far, said in the book that her 2004 win left Williams "bawling" and "crying" in the locker room.

French Open chiefs took a stand earlier in the year when they refused to give Sharapova a wildcard into the first round OR qualifying. She suffered a thigh injury at the Italian Open and was forced to retire from a match and because of its nagging consequences she did not request a wild card for Wimbledon.

The 30-year-old, banned after testing positive for heart drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, has had mixed results since re-joining the WTA Tour.


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