Maria Sharapova to step up comeback bid with Stuttgart wildcard

Maria Sharapova PA

Maria Sharapova has stepped up her comeback bid after being granted a wildcard to play in Stuttgart at the end of April.

Sharapova has not played since January, citing a shoulder injury for the reason behind her absence.

She did appear at the Australian Open, but was eliminated in the in the fourth round, suffering a 6-4, 1-6, 4-6 defeat to home favourite Ashleigh Barty.

She will join an impressive field of former winners in the tournament.

“In addition to last year’s victor [Karolina] Pliskova and two-time winner [Angelique] Kerber (2015, 2016), three further former champions will feature in the draw: Julia Goerges (2011) and, via wildcard, both three-time winner Maria Sharapova (2012, 2013, 2014) and Laura Siegemund (2017),” the WTA announced.

“This means that the champions from the past eight years – stretching back to the now-retired Justine Henin in 2010 – will be present.”

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