Maria Sharapova

Sharapova back on tennis court after doping ban

Former world number one, Maria Sharapova, returns to the tennis court after a 15-month doping ban with a wildcard entry for the Stuttgart Open

STUTTGART, GERMANY (APRIL 26, 2017) (REUTERS) – Former tennis world number one Maria Sharapova on Wednesday (April 26) prepared herself for her return to tournament tennis after a 15-month doping ban.

The five-times grand slam champion has been awarded a wildcard for the Stuttgart Open and is due to play Italian Roberta Vinci in the Round of 32 of the Stuttgart Open on Wednesday not before 1630GMT.

The Russian, because her ban had only expired at midnight on Wednesday morning, had just one opportunity to practice on the official court before facing Vinci. Sharapova spent an hour going through her routine with her training partner, fellow-Russian Alex Kuznetsov.