WTA Tour

Sharapova handed Rome wildcard

Maria Sharapova (AFP)
Maria Sharapova (AFP)

Rome - Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has been given a wildcard to play in the Italian Open in May, organisers said on Wednesday.

The former world number one makes her return to the circuit in Stuttgart in April after completing a 15-month ban for doping.

"We officially announce the wild card for the 3-time Rome champion @MariaSharapova into the main draw ... " organisers announced on Twitter.

Sharapova hasn't played on tour since testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open. An initial two-year ban by the International Tennis Federation was reduced to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Rome tournament runs from May 15-21.

She has also been handed a wildcard for the May 6-13 Madrid Open.

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