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Russian tennis chief says Sharapova unlikely to play for national squad in 2018

October 27, 19:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

After a 15-month long suspension for violating anti-doping regulations, Sharapova made her comeback to tennis in April at Stuttgart

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Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova is very likely to skip playing for the national team of Russia next year, Shamil Tarpishchev, the president of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF), told TASS.

"It will be unfeasible for Sharapova to play next year (for the national team) since we will be taking part in the lower division," Tarpishchev said in an interview with TASS. "An issue of qualifiers for the next Olympics is a different matter."

Earlier this month, Sharapova won the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) final game against Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka in China’s Tianjin, scoring 7:5, 7:6 (10:8). The 2017 WTA Tianjin Open was the first tournament for Sharapova to win since May 2015.

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 a 15-month long suspension for violating anti-doping regulations, Sharapova made her comeback to tennis in April at Stuttgart, where she stormed into the semifinals round of the tournament.

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