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MOSCOW, July 27. /TASS/. Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, who made a comeback to the sport in April after 15-month suspension, has been granted a wildcard for the WTA (Women Tennis Association) tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio, set to be held on August 12-20.
The organizers of the tennis tournament in the US city of Cincinnati also issued wildcards to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, Sloane Stephens of the United States and Marketa Vondrousova from the Czech Republic.
"The addition of these players add to our already strong player field," WTA website quoted Tournament Director Andre Silva as saying.
Two of the players from four wildcards previously won the tournament in Cincinnati, namely Azarenka in 2013 and Sharapova in 2011.
After a 15-month long suspension for violating anti-doping regulations, Sharapova made her tour return in April at Stuttgart, reaching the semi-finals. She also participated in the Madrid Open where she lost in the second round, and retired injured from her second round match at the Rome Masters.
In mid-June, organizers of the Women Tennis Association in Stanford (with $800,000 in prize money) granted Sharapova a wild card. The tournament will be held on July 31-August 6 at tennis courts of the Stanford University, California.
She also received a wild card to take part in the WTA tournament in Toronto on August 5-13. Sharapova is also scheduled to play at a tournament in China’s Tianjin between October 9 and 15.
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.