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MOSCOW, May 9. /TASS/. Russia’s tennis player Maria Sharapova will be awarded a wild card by the Lawn Tennis Association to play at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham on June 19-25, The Times wrote on Tuesday.
After sitting out a provisional 15-month suspension for testing positive for the banned heart drug meldonium in 2016, the 30-year-old Sharapova made an impressive comeback last week at the tennis tournament in Stuttgart knocking out all of her opponents up to the semifinals. Sharapova’s performance at the tournament in Stuttgart returned her to the WTA rankings, earning the tennis player her current 262nd standing.
On Monday, Sharapova was beaten by Canada's Eugenie Bouchard in the second round of the Madrid Open.
Although having no place in the WTA rankings earlier in the year due to the previously imposed suspension, the world’s former No. 1 Sharapova was granted wild cards for tennis tournaments in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome.
The tennis player was initially set to serve a two-year suspension for violating anti-doping regulations starting January 26, 2016. However, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on October 4, 2016 to cut her suspension term from 24 to 15 months.
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.