WTA Tour

Sharapova set for return after lengthy injury absence

Maria Sharapova (AP)
Maria Sharapova (AP)

Madrid - Former world number one Maria Sharapova confirmed on Monday she will play at next week's Mallorca Open after more than three months out through injury.

Sharapova, 32, a five-time Grand Slam champion, has been sidelined since February after having surgery on a shoulder problem which has troubled her since 2008.

"I'm so happy to be able to announce that I'm going to accept a wildcard into the Mallorca Open," Sharapova said in a statement. 

"I want to thank the tournament for the opportunity it's given me and for my incredible fans who have been supporting me these past months."

Sharapova has struggled for fitness since her 15-month doping ban that ended in 2017.

"After more than a week testing in Mallorca, Maria Sharapova has decided to accept the wildcard offered by the Mallorca Open," a statement from the Mallorca Open said.

Sharapova's last on-court appearance came at the St Petersburg Open in her native Russia in January after she had lost to eventual French Open winner Ashleigh Barty at the round of 16 of the Australian Open earlier in the month.

The competition at the WTA grass event in Mallorca begins on June 17 and Sharapova will be joined by reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber as well as fellow former world number one Victoria Azarenka.

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