US Open announces Sharapova among 2017 wildcards

Sharapova has withdrawn from US Open warm-up tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati after suffering a left forearm injury at Stanford Reuters  Files

Maria Sharapova who was handed a doping ban will be seen in US Open after a gap of 18 months from her professional slam appearance.

"Sharapova has played in the US Open main draw 10 times before", the statement continued.

"Her suspension under the terms of the tennis anti-doping program was completed and therefore was not one of the factors weighed in our wildcard selection process", Sport24 quoted the USTA as saying in a statement.

"Following the doctor's advice on-site, as a precaution for the US Open, I am unfortunately withdrawing from the tournament with the left forearm injury I sustained in Stanford", Sharapova said.

The decision many tournaments have made to hand Sharapova a wildcard has divided the tennis community, and the tournament is now likely to receive both praise and criticism for handing the Russian her first Grand Slam tournament since her return. "In her last visit to NY, in 2014, she fell to Caroline Wozniacki in the round of 16", the USTA said in a statement on Tuesday, reports Efe.

"I'm sure this is a great moment for her to have an opportunity to be back to a place where she has done so well", ninth-ranked Venus Williams said. That escalated when she received a 15-month doping ban for a substance that had been recently outlawed: Meldonium, which is used to treat coronary heart disease, and is perceived as a performance enhancing drug.

However, she was denied a wildcard for the French Open in May before a thigh injury forced her to miss Wimbledon.

Perez won last year's at the US Open, while Fourlis nabbed starts at the Australian and French Opens.

The 2006 victor will be joined in the main draw by USTA Girls' 18s Nationals champion Ashley Kratzer, US Open Wild Card Challenge victor Sofia Kenin and NCAA singles champion Brianne Minor, defending US Open girls' champion Kayla Day and former junior World No.1 Taylor Townsend.

Sharapova wrote that the relationship between the pair fell apart after she, then 17, beat the 23-time Grand Slam champion in the Wimbledon final in 2004. Sharapova's US Open preparations have been disrupted by an arm injury suffered during her first round win over Jennifer Brady earlier this month.

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