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Sharapova handed Rome wildcard

Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has been given a wildcard to play in the Italian Open in May, organisers said 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 to May 21.

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

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