Sharapova gets invite for Grand Slam return

Sharapova

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Maria Sharapova was granted a wild-card invitation for the US Open's main draw on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time) and will take part in a Grand Slam event for the first time in more than 1 1/2 years.

After the 2017 US Open reaches its conclusion, the WTA circuit will enter its last major segment of the season with a fair share of big tournaments scheduled for the Asian leg. Sharapova didn't compete at Wimbledon due to a thigh injury.

The Russian five-time major victor was eligible for a place in Wimbledon qualifying through her world ranking, but missed the event with an injury.

Third-ranked Federer said he injured his back in Montreal, where he lost to Germany's Alexander Zverev in last Sunday's final in a key hard-court tune-up for the US Open.

The former world number one and five-time grand slam victor tested positive for the banned substance meldonium in 2016 and was handed a 15-month doping ban. The last time she participated in the US Open was in 2014.

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The Russian, who completed a 15 month drugs ban in April after a positive test for meldonium, is among seven women handed direct entries into the main draw today. The US Open runs from August 28 to September 10 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows, New York.

But the United States Tennis Association have ignored their feelings - and those of many others in the sport - to give the 2006 champion a free pass into the main draw.

The USTA today announced that former US Open singles champion Maria Sharapova, young American Taylor Townsend, reigning US Open girls' champion Kayla Day, 2017 US Open Wild Card Challenge victor Sofia Kenin, 2017 USTA Girls' 18s national champion Ashley Kratzer and 2017 NCAA singles champion Brienne Minor have been awarded women's singles main draw wild cards into the 2017 US Open.

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.

Her return to Queens would add some star power to the Open with Serena Williams (pregnancy), Novak Djokovic (injury) and Stan Wawrinka (injury) all out of this year's tournament. She no longer has to worry about that hurdle thanks to the USTA's controversial decision.

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