SBD Global/January 11, 2017/Events and Attractions
Maria Sharapova To Make Comeback At Porsche Grand Prix In Stuttgart In April
Published January 11, 2017
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Maria Sharapova will make her professional tennis "comeback following her doping ban" at the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart in April, according to the London TELEGRAPH. The former world No. 1 "is serving a 15-month ban after testing positive for cardiac drug meldonium last January and is eligible to compete again on April 26." The Stuttgart tournament "is an obvious comeback event given Porsche is one of her main sponsors, but it had been thought she would not be able to play because it starts two days before her suspension runs out." Sharapova "will not be allowed to attend the tournament until" Wednesday, the day of her first match. She said, "I could not be happier to have my first match back on tour at one of my favorite tournaments. I can't wait to see all my great fans and to be back doing what I love." Sharapova will "return to tennis without a ranking and needs a wild card to enter the tournament." Whether to invite "one of the game's biggest stars will be a big decision for many events in the initial months of her comeback." A WTA spokesperson confirmed Sharapova's eligibility, saying, "Maria has been offered and accepted a wild card to play at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart" (TELEGRAPH, 1/10).
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