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Maria Sharapova is back in top-200 of WTA rankings

May 22, 7:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Sharapova’s performance at the tournament in Stuttgart returned her to the WTA rankings, from which she was excluded last October

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© PA/RONALD WITTEK

MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has returned to the top-200 international players in the weekly ratings of the Women Tennis Association.

In this week’s new rankings Sharapova is listed in 173rd positions having climbed from last week’s 211 place. Having returned to top 200 Sharapova now has the right to play in the qualifiers for prestigious tennis tournament Wimbledon.

Over a week ago, Sharapova withdrew from the second-round match of the Italian Open during the game against Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. She had come from a set down to lead Lucic-Baroni 4-6, 6-3, 2-1, but was forced to pull out from in third set sustaining an injury to the left leg.

After sitting out a provisional 15-month suspension, Sharapova, 30, made an impressive comeback last month 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, from which she was excluded last October.

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 wildcards 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.

Early last year, Sharapova announced that doping tests revealed the presence of the banned performance enhancing drug, meldonium, in her body. Following the announcement, the tennis star was provisionally suspended from all tennis-related activities, including the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

Sharapova is Russia’s most accomplished tennis player: she 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.

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