Sharapova to return to tennis as Brisbane wildcard
January 1, 2020 8:58 am
Former tennis world number one Maria Sharapova will return to tournament action next week.
This is after being awarded a wildcard to play in the Brisbane International which is an Australian Open warm-up.
The 32-year-old Russian, who last played a competitive match in the first round of the U.S. Open five months ago has dropped to 133rd in the world after a season in which a long-standing shoulder injury restricted her to eight tournaments.
The five-times Grand Slam champion will join current world number one Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova in a strong field at the Queensland Tennis Center from next Monday.
Sharapova has been troubled by shoulder problems throughout her career and the current issue required surgery early last year with lingering problems hampering her throughout the 2019 season.
Sharapova’s lowly ranking means she will also need a wildcard to get directly into the main singles draw for this year’s Australian Open, which begins on the 20th of this month.
She won her third major title at Melbourne Park in 2008 but also tested positive for a banned substance at the tournament in 2016 and served a 15-month suspension from the game.
[Source:Radio New Zealand]