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Maria Sharapova

Sharapova digs deep in China Open epic

Maria Sharapova gained revenge over the Latvian 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova with a gutsy 7-6 (7/3), 5-7, 7-6 (9/7) victory in the China Open first round on Saturday. It was the five-time Grand Slam winner’s first appearance since she was beaten by Sevastova at the US Open in early September and gets her stop-start return from a doping ban back on track. Sharapova, ranked 104 in the world, is a wildcard in Beijing as she works her way back slowly from a 15-month ban for taking the banned substance meldonium. She…

Sharapova knocked out of US Open fourth round

NEW YORK: Maria Sharapova’s contentious and captivating U.S. Open run came to an end on Sunday when Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova beat her 5-7 6-4 6-2 to reach the Flushing Meadows quarter-finals. Playing her first grand slam since returning from a 15-month doping ban, Sharapova grabbed the spotlight with an opening-round upset of second seed Simona Halep and commanded centre stage right until the end, walking off Arthur Ashe Stadium court with a demure wave to the capacity crowd. ”It’s been a really great ride in the…

Sharapova sparkles on return to grand slam stage

NEW YORK: Maria Sharapova proved she will be someone to contend with for the U.S. Open crown after the Russian wild card outlasted second seed Simona Halep 6-4 4-6 6-3 on Monday to get the year’s final grand slam off to an electrifying start. Still shaking off the rust from a 15-month doping ban and a string of nagging injuries, the 30-year-old Sharapova needed all her skill, determination and two hours and 44 minutes to snatch victory in front of a packed Arthur Ashe stadium. The victory becomes the highlight of what…

Injured Sharapova out of Wimbledon

LONDON: Maria Sharapova withdrew from Wimbledon on Saturday after failing to recover from a thigh injury, dealing another blow to the superstar's bid to rebuild her career following a doping ban. The 30-year-old Russian, who was champion at the All England Club in 2004, was due to play in the qualifying event in the hope of making the main draw. "After an additional scan, the muscle tear that I sustained in Rome will unfortunately not allow me to compete in the grass court tournaments I was scheduled to play," she said in…

Sharapova vows to ‘rise again’ after French Open snub

PARIS: Maria Sharapova vowed to "rise up again" on Wednesday after she was refused a wildcard for the French Open following her 15-month ban for doping. The Russian former world number one also earned the backing of the head of women's tennis, a day after the French tennis federation's announcement that it would not grant her a wildcard for the event she won in 2012 and 2014. "If this is what it takes to rise up again, then I am in it all the way, everyday," Sharapova wrote on Twitter, in her first remarks on her snub.…

Sharapova denied French Open wild card

PARIS: Two-time champion Maria Sharapova will not play at Roland Garros this year after the French tennis federation denied her a wild card, FFT president Bernard Guidicelli said on Tuesday. The former world number one, who only returned from a 15-month doping ban last month, will miss the French Open, which she won in 2012 and 2014, for the second year in a row. "Nobody can deprive her of her two titles at Roland Garros, but today I can't grant her the wild card requested," Guidicelli said on Facebook Live. "The…

Maria Sharapova wins opening match in Rome

ROME: Maria Sharapova guaranteed herself a spot in the Wimbledon qualifying tournament with a first-round victory against American Christina McHale at the Italian Open on Monday. The Russian former world number one, given a wildcard to compete in Rome after returning from a 15-month doping ban, dropped serve three times in a scrappy opening set, but won 6-4 6-2 to reach round two. Sharapova faces a battle to raise her ranking enough to qualify for the grasscourt grand slam by right and spare organizers the dilemma of…

Sharapova rags-to-riches journey resumes in Stuttgart

STUTTGART: From the shadow of Chernobyl's nuclear wasteland to international super-stardom and from penniless arrival in the United States, without a word of English, to a fortune of $200 million. It may sound like the stuff of Hollywood dreams, but the story of Maria Sharapova is a testament to the power of one individual to make it, whatever the odds, whatever the controversy, whatever people think. On Wednesday in Stuttgart, the 30-year-old will return from a 15-month doping suspension to open the next chapter.…

Sharapova blames ITF for failing to warn her on banned substance

Five-times grand slam champion Maria Sharapova has criticized the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for not doing enough to make her aware that meldonium had been added to the list of banned substances last year. Sharapova's initial two-year suspension was reduced to 15 months after she tested positive at the 2016 Australian Open for meldonium, a medication the Russian had been taking within the rules but which was then reclassified as a banned drug. Meldonium was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency list of…

Sharapova feels vindicated and empowered after doping ban

RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA: Tennis star Maria Sharapova said on Tuesday she is excited about her return to competition next month, feeling vindicated by the reduction of her doping suspension and empowered by her time away. Russia's former world number one was initially barred for two years after testing positive at the 2016 Australian Open for meldonium, a medication she had been taking for 10 years within the rules, but that was reclassified as a banned drug. Sharapova vigorously fought to overturn the ban, saying she…