Maria Sharapova will make her professional comeback at the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart on April 26 after serving a doping suspension.
The tournament in Germany starts two days ahead of suspension of the Russian runs out. Sharapova will not be allowed to attend until the day of her match. She is eligible to compete again on April 26. The Stuttgart tournament is an obvious comeback event for Sharapova as Porsche is one of her main sponsors.
Sharapova needs a wild card to enter the tournament as she is without a ranking. The five-time Grand Slam champion won the Stuttgart title for three years in a row from 2012 to 2014 and said she could not be happier to have her first match back on tour at one of her favorite tournaments. She last played a professional tournament at the Australian Open 12 months ago where she registered the anti-doping violation.
Tournament director Markus Guenthardt said he is really happy for Maria Sharapova that she is back after a long break. Guenthardt added it is particularly pleasing for him is that it is going to be our audience that gets to watch her comeback live and added it is certain to be one of the sporting and emotional highlights of our anniversary tournament.
She will then be gearing up for the season's second grand slam at Roland Garros. The French Open begins on May 22.
In March, the 29-year-old former world number one was given a ban of two years after she tested positive for Meldonium. Her suspension was reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport following an appeal. The Florida-based Russian admitted that she had used Meldonium for years. Maria added she was not aware it had been banned since the start of 2016.
One of the highest paid athletes in the world in the past decade, Maria has already taken part in two exhibition events since the verdict of CAS was announced. She played at the World Team Tennis Smash Hits in Las Vegas and then took on Olympic champion Monica Puig in Puerto Rico. Sharapova, the silver Olympic medalist of the London 2012 Games, had to miss the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, held in August in Rio de Janeiro due to the doping ban.
A United States resident since 1994, the Russian professional tennis player has won at least one singles title a year from 2003 until 2015.
In another development, Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpishche said Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpishche. Tarpishchev said Sharapova may play for the Russian team and is able to win gold at the 2020 Olympics. The President of the Russian Tennis Federation said Maria is returning in late April to participation in tournaments and added we will see how quickly she will be able to return to the high level. Tarpishche added the world of sports is not standing idle and is moving quickly, but we all know that Sharapova is a professional and everything depends on her.
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