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Maria Sharapova handed wildcard for US Open

Maria Sharapova handed wildcard for US Open”

After winning her opening match at Bank of the West Classic, Sharapova had to pull out the plug. 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.

"Her suspension under the terms of the tennis anti-doping program was completed and therefore was not one of the factors weighed in our wildcard selection process", a spokesperson for the United States Tennis Association (USTA) told BBC Sport.

Sharapova was 19 when she won her US Open trophy.

The USTA announced on Tuesday that Sharapova would get a wild card into the US Open, which begins in two weeks.

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The Russian has not featured in a major since testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in 2016, after missing both the French Open and Wimbledon.

Sharapova was offered the chance to enter Wimbledon via qualifying rounds (but withdrew with injury), and before that missed the French Open because the French tennis authorities refused to give her a shot to even qualify.

After a 15-month long suspension for violating anti-doping regulations, Sharapova made her tour return in April at Stuttgart, reaching the semi-finals.

"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".

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The US Open will take place at Flushing Meadows from 28 August to 10 September.

"Consistent with past practice, a wildcard was provided to a past USA champion who needed the wildcard for entry into the main draw".

She was denied entry to Roland Garros by the French Tennis Federation in May, which said it was seeking "to protect the high standards of the game" by not allowing a convicted doper to receive a wild card.

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.

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Sharapova, who has won five grand slam titles, added that she and Williams "should be friends", given they share the same passion, but the pair have "driven each other" in recent years.



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