Maria Sharapova gets wild card, set to return for Australian open
SYDNEY: Former world number one Maria Sharapova will return to tournament action at the Brisbane International next month after being awarded a wildcard to play in the Australian Open warm-up.
The five-times Grand Slam champion, who last played a competitive match in the first round of the US Open in August, has dropped to 133rd in the world after a season in which injuries restricted her to eight tournaments.
Sharapova’s lowly ranking means she will also need a wildcard to get directly into the main singles draw for this year’s Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 20.
Sharapova won her third major title at Melbourne Park in 2008 but also tested positive for a banned substance at the tournament in 2016 and served a 15-month suspension from the game.