MOSCOW, September 11. /TASS/. Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova will play at the 2019 WTA St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy tennis tournament next January as a relevant agreement has been reached and formalities are left to be finalized, Alexander Medvedev, the tournament’s director general, told TASS on Tuesday.
"I would describe the current situation by saying that the concluded agreement is currently under the stage of formalities finalization," Medvedev, who is also a Gazprom deputy CEO, said in an interview with TASS.
"Both sides have specialists, who are dealing with the finalization of such formalities," he said. "Yes, we will see Maria [Sharapova] playing in St. Petersburg."
The St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy is classified as the WTA (Women Tennis Association) Premier tournament and was first held in Saint Petersburg in 2003. Sharapova never played at this tournament, which was held last time in the Russian second largest city this year between January 29 and February 4.
Early last week Sharapova was knocked out from the 2018 US Open Grand Slam Tournament after a straight sets defeat inflicted by Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro (6-4, 6-3). Her next scheduled tournament will be the 2018 VTB Kremlin Cup, scheduled to be held in the capital of Moscow between October 11 and 21.
Sharapova is Russia’s most decorated tennis player having won a total of five Grand Slam tournaments, namely the Australian Open in 2008, the French Open in 2012 and 2014, Wimbledon in 2004 and the US Open in 2006. She also clinched the silver in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and was the 2008 Federations Cup champion.
After the 15-month long suspension, imposed in 2016 for violating anti-doping regulations, Sharapova made her comeback to tennis in April 2017.
Last October, Sharapova won the 2017 WTA Tianjin Open in China and it was her first tournament to win since May 2015. She is currently ranked 24th in the WTA Rankings List.