MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova was granted a wildcard permitting her to compete in May in Madrid Open tennis tournament, the event’s organizers announced in a statement on Wednesday.
"Sharapova will be taking part in our 2017 tournament," the statement said. "Sharapova asked us for an invitation to the tournament and having considered her request we decided to grant her a wildcard."
"Sharapova is one of the best tennis players over the past 15 years, she was the champion of our tournament (in 2014) and she has been always good playing in Madrid," the statement said quoting the tournament’s director Manolo Santana.
Currently serving a provisional suspension, Sharapova is set to make her comeback following a doping ban this year on April 26 at the tennis tournament in Stuttgart.
The tennis player has been serving a two-year suspension for the violation of anti-doping regulations since January 26 last year. However, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on October 4, 2016 to reduce her suspension term from 24 to 15 months. Sharapova is officially eligible to make her comeback on April 26 this year.
Last March, Sharapova announced that her doping tests revealed the presence of banned performance enhancing drug meldonium in the body system. Following the announcement, former World’s No. 1 was provisionally suspended from all tennis-related activities, including from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
Sharapova is Russia’s most decorated tennis player having won a total of five Grand Slam tournaments, namely Australian Open in 2008, French Open in 2012 and 2014, Wimbledon in 2004 and US Open in 2006.
She is also a silver medal winner of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2008 Federations Cup champion.