Maria Sharapova’s post drug-ban schedule is fast taking shape after event organisers at the Mutua Madrid Open confirmed she had been granted a wildcard for the tournament.
Following a positive test for the drug Meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, Sharapova was suspended for two years by the International Tennis Federation [ITF].
The Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] cut the ban by nine months last October, allowing her to compete from April 26.
It has been confirmed that Sharapova will officially return to competitive tennis at the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart which runs until the 30th of April.
Her next event will be the Madrid Open which starts on the 6th of May.
Gone are the days where Sharapova can pick and choose where she wants to play, for now at least.
Given her lowly ranking as a result of the ban, she needs to request to play as a wildcard at most events.
"Sharapova requested an invitation to play,” said Madrid Open director Manolo Santana.
“She is one of the best players of the last 15 years and also a past winner of our tournament.
"In Madrid she always plays well and I'm sure she will come back to the courts highly motivated and hoping to do well."