US Open Grand Slam organizers extend wildcard for Russian tennis star Sharapova

Clyde Nash
August 16, 2017

The US Open has included former champion Maria Sharapova in its list of main draw wildcards announced by the USTA on Tuesday.

One said on Instagram: "Good luck in US Open, all of your true fans are behind you".

The 2006 US Open champion then elected to try to reach the Wimbledon main draw through qualifying, however she pulled out of the tournament having failed to recover from the muscle injury she sustained at the Italian Open the previous month. She returned to the tour, but her ranking - now 148th - was too low to allow entry into major tournaments, and the French Open denied her a wild card.

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"Additionally, Sharapova has volunteered to speak to young tennis players at the USTA National Campus about the importance of the tennis anti-doping program and the personal responsibility each player has to comply with the program's requirements", the statement said.

By not competing, she missed some great chances to improve her game and her ranking before the US Open.

The decision many tournaments have made to hand Sharapova a wildcard has divided the tennis community, and the tournament is now likely to receive both praise and criticism for handing the Russian her first Grand Slam tournament since her return. The last time she participated in the US Open was in 2014.

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"Consistent with past practice, a wild card was provided to a past US Open champion who needed the wild card for entry into the main draw", the USTA said.

Sharapova, who returned to tennis from a 15-month doping ban in April, went on to say she is convinced that that defeat is why Williams and her have never been friends - and it is why the American has dominated their meetings since. "She is now No. 148", the statement added.

Britain's Andy Murray, Wimbledon victor Roger Federer and US Open champion Stan Wawrinka have all missed this week's event in Cincinnati, while former world No1 Novak Djokovic is out for the rest of the year.

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The Russian has played just nine matches this year and skipped this week's Cincinnati Masters after being forced out of action by an elbow injury in Stanford earlier this month.

Other reports by Info About Network

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