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Maria Sharapova returns to tennis with Stuttgart Open

By Newsd
Updated on :
Source: Dialy Mail

After over a year’s break, 5 times Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova returns back to Tennis. Sharapova makes a comeback this week following her 15-month ban having tested positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.
Although she won’t be welcomed by the rivals by open arms, Sharapova isn’t losing any sleep as the 30-year-old prepares for her first match since being defeated by Serena Williams in the 2016 Australian Open quarter-finals.
The organisers of Stuttgart’s WTA tournament, a clay court tournament sponsored by Porsche, sparked controversy by giving her a wild card to play on Wednesday.
“That is the least of my concerns. I know that I am respected in my field. I see it in how my opponents play against me,” said Sharapova. Sharapova is to start her Stuttgart campaign against Italian veteran Roberta Vinci.
Blaming the sports authority, she said that they failed to give her sufficient warning that meldonium had become a banned substance. Sharapova was originally suspended for two years before having the sentence and was reduced to 15 months on appeal.
She is making her comeback on the court at 18:30 on Wednesday and interestingly, she has been Stuttgart title champion thrice before. If she gets through her opener, she could face Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round.
Stuttgart’s WTA tournament director Markus Guenthardt knows her presence will boost ticket sales.
“Her return to the Porsche Arena is a fabulous present for our fantastic spectators and is certain to be one of the sporting and emotional highlights of our anniversary tournament,” he said.
Notably, Agnieszka Radwanska and many of her other potential Stuttgart rivals have made it clear they disapprove of her getting a helping hand into the main draw.