Russia's Maria Sharapova signs autographs after winning her third round match against Lauren Davis of the U.S. at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, 2016.Reuters
Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has returned to the top-200 international players in the weekly ratings of the Women Tennis Association, TASS reports. In this week’s new rankings Sharapova is listed in 173rd positions having climbed from last week’s 211 place. Having returned to top 200 Sharapova now has the right to play in the qualifiers for prestigious tennis tournament Wimbledon.
Over a week ago, Sharapova withdrew from the second-round match of the Italian Open during the game against Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. She had come from a set down to lead Lucic-Baroni 4-6, 6-3, 2-1, but was forced to pull out from in third set sustaining an injury to the left leg.
After sitting out a provisional 15-month suspension, Sharapova, 30, made an impressive comeback last month at the tennis tournament in Stuttgart knocking out all of her opponents up to the semifinals. Sharapova’s performance at the tournament in Stuttgart returned her to the WTA rankings, from which she was excluded last October.
Although having no place in the WTA rankings earlier in the year due to the previously imposed suspension, the world’s former No. 1 Sharapova was granted wildcards for tennis tournaments in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome.
The tennis player was initially set to serve a two-year suspension for violating anti-doping regulations starting Jan. 26, 2016. However, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on Oct. 4, 2016 to cut her suspension term from 24 to 15 months.
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