She is thirty years old and has not played in a Grand Slam event in 15 months due to a doping violation. Earlier this year, she withdrew from two tennis tournaments and is now ranked 148th.
Yet Maria Sharapova was granted a wildcard entry into the U.S. Open, and she will be watched closely. The former No. 1 admits she is not ready for the last Grand Slam of the year.
“I haven’t had the best preparation [for the US Open] if I am honest,” Sharapova said on the tournament’s official Periscope channel. “The tournaments I was supposed to play, I had to withdraw with an injury which was quite disappointing.”
The wild card allows Sharapova to skip several rounds of qualifying and go straight into the main draw.
Many tennis fans will be looking forward to the return of Sharapova as many of her fellow tennis players have criticised her.
“I’m aware of what many of my peers have said about me and how critical of me some of them have been,” she added. “If you’re a human being with a normal beating heart, I don’t think that sort of thing will ever be possible to ignore.”
Fifth ranked Caroline Wozniacki said.“She got a wild card so, you know, we’ll see. She’ll have to work her way back up. But obviously, she’s a good player, and she’ll find her way,” John McEnroe, tennis legend and New York native expects the typically vocal U.S. Open crowd to Sharapova will be “somewhat mixed,” but said interest in her performance would be at an all-time high. “She’s obviously the biggest name in the draw, so that’s going to provide some interest. A lot of us are interested to see how she does; there’s no question.”
WHAT’S UP ?
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