In Comeback Mode: Maria Sharapova Gets Wildcard Entry To Stuttgart Open
Fifteen months after Maria Sharapova was barred from the tennis court due to a doping ban, she returns to her earlier life of a champion player on Wednesday. She was chosen as a wild card entry into this week’s Stuttgart event.
Sharapova knows it would be hard for her to return and that she would have to earn the crowd’s favour, but the five Grand Slam winner is keeping her eyes fixed on the match more than the environment.
She is ready to rediscover the glory and what is like to be the world’s top ranked player once again. And, what tournament would be perfect for her return than Stuttgart where she won three titles.
Sharapova’s rivals would do their best to keep her off the ranking.
The 30-year-old is all prepared and ready to take up the challenge in her first match since her last defeat against Serena Williams in the 2016 Australian Open quarter-finals.
“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, News18 reported
A ban on her comes to an end this Wednesday. The Russian tested positive for meldonium at last year’s Australian Open. It was first verified as the over-the-counter cardiac supplement when it was within the rules, but was later reclassified as a prohibited drug.
Having a great opportunity, Sharapova will definitely try to give her opponent — Italian veteran Roberta Vinci –a hard time at the Stuttgart campaign.
If she wins the opener, she might be facing off Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, one of her strongest opponents, in the second round.
The sixth-seed in Stuttgart, Radwanska criticized Sharapova’s return saying that she should have entered the tournament based on merit and not enter with a wild card. Although Sharapova’s return is a big highlight of the tournament and organisers of Stuttgart — which is celebrating its 40th anniversary — could be working to give her as much support as she needs.
Feature Image Credit: The Indian Express
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