Maria Sharapova granted wild card entry to play in US Open

0:36 | Tennis         Stan Wawrinka Shuts Down 2017 Season Due to Knee Injury

The US Open starts in Flushing Meadows on August 28 (August 29 NZT).

Maria Sharapova was granted a wild-card invitation for the US Open's main draw on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time) and will take part in a Grand Slam event for the first time in more than 1 1/2 years.

After a 15-month long suspension for violating anti-doping regulations, Sharapova made her tour return in April at Stuttgart, reaching the semi-finals.

Sharapova was suspended 15 months for her use of meldonium, a banned substance, and has returned to mixed reactions from fans and competitors. "The 2006 champion in NY, the victor of five major singles titles, headlines a list of seven women who have been awarded entry into the final Grand Slam of the season".

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

"Her suspension under the terms of the tennis anti-doping program was completed and therefore was not one of the factors weighed in our wild card selection process", the USTA said in a statement. Sharapova must be eager to return to the major she won in 2006.

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. She must also be salivating at the chance to play what may well be the last Serena-less Slam.

In a press release, the USTA announced that Sharapova will have an opportunity to make a triumphant return to the 2017 US Open with a wild-card berth.

The 30-year-old has since withdrawn from both the Rogers Cup in Montreal and in Cincinnati but despite her injury fears, the USTA has opted to hand the five-time Grand Slam champion direct entry into the main draw.

Sharapova's U.S. Open preparations have been disrupted by an arm injury suffered during her first-round win over Jennifer Brady at the Stanford Classic earlier this month.

The USTA also said that Sharapova will speak to young players about the anti-doping program.


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