Maria Sharapova granted wildcard entry for US Open

16 August, 2017, 05:46 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • EPA  ETTORE FERRARI

Since her return to tennis, a number of players have criticised tournament organisers who gave her wild cards, with Eugenie Bouchard labelling her "a cheater".

She is now ranked 148, outside the 104 number required to get directly into the Open draw.

It was reduced to 15 months following her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In May, the French Tennis Federation denied her a wild card into qualifying and the main draw at the French Open. She won her first title in 2004 at Wimbledon, and has gone on to record five Grand Slam titles in all-including the 2006 US Open crown.

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.

"Previous US Open champions who have received US Open main draw wildcards include Martina Hingis, Lleyton Hewitt, Kim Cljisters and Juan Martin del Potro".

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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. She won the 2006 U.S. Open and has reached the semifinals in 2005 and 2012.

"Additionally, Sharapova has volunteered to speak to young tennis players at the USTA National Campus about the importance of the tennis anti-doping programme and the personal responsibility each player has to comply with the programme's requirements". She is now in the main draw for her first Grand Slam in the 2017 season, according to the report.

The victor of five grand slam titles, including the 2006 U.S. Open, said she was unaware of the change.

Also receiving wild cards were: Taylor Townsend, reigning US Open girls' champion Kayla Day, 2017 NCAA singles champion Brienne Minor, US Open wild-card challenge victor Sofia Kenin, USTA Girls' 18s national champion Ashley Kratzer and Amandine Hesse of France.

The U.S. Open runs from August 28 to September 10 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows, New York.

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