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U.S. Open 2017: Maria Sharapova lands wild card to play in U.S. Open

By The Sports Xchange
U.S. Open 2017: Maria Sharapova lands wild card to play in U.S. Open
Russian Maria Sharapova returns the ball in the Women's Semi-Final match against American Serena Williams at the 2015 Wimbledon championships, London on July 9, 2015. File photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

Maria Sharapova received a wild card to play in the U.S. Open, the United States Tennis Association announced on Tuesday.

The event will mark the first major and fifth event for Sharapova since she returned from a 15-month doping suspension in late April.

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The 30-year-old Russian won the U.S. Open in 2006 and is currently ranked 148th in the world.

"Her suspension under the terms of the tennis anti-doping program was completed and therefore was not one of the factors weighed in our wild-card selection process," the USTA wrote in a statement. "Consistent with past practice, a wild card was provided to a past U.S. champion who needed the wild card for entry into the main draw."

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The USTA listed Martina Hingis, Lleyton Hewitt, Kim Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro among those who have received wild cards to the U.S. Open main draw.

The tournament announced that Sharapova is one of eight women who will receive wild cards into the event.

Agnieszka Radwanska, Eugenie Bouchard and men's star Andy Murray, among others, had been critical of Sharapova receiving wild cards into tournaments after her ban ended.

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Sharapova was denied her bid for a wild card in the French Open in May by the French Tennis Federation. She later pulled out of Wimbledon qualifying with a thigh injury.

Sharapova returned to the court two weeks ago in Stanford, only to bow out before the start of the second round with soreness in her left arm.

The U.S. Open begins Aug. 28 in New York.

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