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Sharapova Faces Vinci As She Returns To Tennis In Stuttgart

by admin on Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Maria SharapovaRussian tennis player Maria Sharapova will return to tennis tomorrow when she faces Italian Roberta Vinci at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany.

The presence of Maria Sharapova will mark the third day of this WTA tournament, which awards a grand total $776,000 in prizes. Sharapova who has already won this tournament in 2012, 2013 and 2014, makes a controversial return to tennis after a 15-month ban for failing a drug test of Meldonium, a banned substance, during the 2016 Australian Open.

The same day other high-ranked players take the field, including German Angelique Kerber (1), Romanian Simona Halep (4) and Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza (5). The 30-year-old Sharapova was allowed back to the courts after the Court of Arbitration Sport reduced from two years to fifteen months her suspension.

Sharapova has told the media that her main goal is to clear her name after the criticism she received from several other players. Due to her fame, sponsors’ influence and commercial value, Sharapova has received invitations to several of this year’s tournaments such as this one in Germany and the ones in Madrid and Rome.

Meanwhile, the Roland Garros organization have reportedly decided to give Sharapova an invitation to its qualifying tournament instead of handing her a wildcard to the main draw of the event. Thus, the Russian would be forced to win three matches for a chance to play in the main draw of the Paris’ grand slam.

Sharapova has won the 2008 Australian Open once, two Roland Garros (2012 and 2014), the 2004 Wimbledon and the 2006 US Open, and has earned almost $36.5 million in official prizes.

American Serena Williams, who on January won the Australian Open for the seventh time, will be absent for the rest of the 2017 season because she is pregnant. Williams was, as a matter of fact, the player with whom Sharapova played her last game in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Australian Open, before being sanctioned.

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