It’s still a couple of months away but it has been announced that Maria Sharapova will be returning to the tour at WTA Stuttgart on April the 26th.
This comes as a little surprise with the tournament sponsored by Porsche who is one of her sponsors… however questions have been raised on why and how Sharapova is able to play this tournament..
Sharapova’s ban runs up until two days after the tournament in Stuttgart begins. Now this would mean for the first two days of the tournament she is still banned but does this mean she can be put on entrants list for tournaments whilst she is still suspended from the sport? Sharapova will begin her tournament on the Wednesday of the week as a wildcard and it will be interesting to see the reception she receives.
It is unclear what the rules are for arrival at the tournament before she is eligible to play again and you’d expect her not being able to be on site until her first match back on the Wednesday.
The reception Sharapova gets as she returns will be interesting having been so popular in Stuttgart a title she has won a number of times and will need to rely on wildcards to get into tournaments with the former world number one currently not having a ranking!