Tennis

Sharapova will look to make a mark at this year's US Open.

Maria Sharapova receives a wildcard for the upcoming US Open

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Maria Sharapova has been handed a wildcard for this year's US Open, meaning she will be playing in her first Grand Slam for 15 months after she was banned from the sport for doping.

Sharapova was denied a French Open wildcard, and then after missed the grass court season, including Wimbledon, due to an unfortunate thigh injury.

However, her preperation for this year's tournament has been disrupted by an arm injury she suffered while playing Jenifer Brady earlier this month.

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Sharapova is a five-time major champion, yet is currently ranked 148th in the world due to her absence from the sport.

To ensure she will be fit to participate in this year's US Open, she was forced to pull out of the Cincinnati Masters earlier this week.

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This will be her first major tournament since the Australian Open in 2016, when she tested positive for meldonium, which had been recently banned from the sport.

This resulted in a 15-month ban which was over in April this year, however, her rank of 148th in the world meant she wasn't eligible to compete in Grand Slams, and so can only get in via a wildcard pick.

After being denied a French Open wildcard spot, she set out to try and qualify for Wimbledon, but this of course was disrupted by a thigh injury she sustained.

Bank of the West Classic - Day 1

The former world No.1 has only played nine matches this year, which included an appearance earlier in the year at the Stuggart Open in Germany.

Yet, now that she is returning to the Grand Slam stage, surely all eyes will be on Sharapova, and whether she can she cause some unlikely upsets against the world's top players.

Of course, after hearing the news about her wildcard, the Russian couldn't hide her excitement and gratitude, taking to Twitter to express her feelings.

In a short but emotional tweet, Sharapova said this feeling was 'so, so special'.

She will certainly have a point to prove, not only to her fans and doubters, but also to herself to prove that she really can still play at the highest level, at the age of 30, after 15 months out of the sport

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Topics:
Maria Sharapova
Novak Djokovic
US Open Tennis
Andy Murray
Tennis
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer

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