Maria Sharapova headlines Women's singles wildcards for US Open

Former US Open champion Maria Sharapova is free to play her first grand slam tournament in more than 18 months after being granted a wild card at Flushing Meadows by the US Tennis Association (USTA).

After the 2017 US Open reaches its conclusion, the WTA circuit will enter its last major segment of the season with a fair share of big tournaments scheduled for the Asian leg.

In an extract from her soon-to-be-released autobiography, Unstoppable: My Life So Far, Sharapova details how the relationship between the pair fell apart after the Wimbledon final in 2004.

The Russian star is now ranked no. 148 in the world as she continues to fight through her comeback year since her 15 month doping ban.

Third-ranked Federer said he injured his back in Montreal, where he lost to Germany's Alexander Zverev in last Sunday's final in a key hard-court tune-up for the US Open.

On July 31, Sharapova played her first match on the U.S. soil at the WTA tennis tournament in Stanford, California, where she was invited with a wildcard.

Sharapova returned from a 15-month doping ban earlier this year, but was denied a wildcard at the French Open.

It was at the 2016 Australian Open where the Russian tested positive for the banned drug Meldonium. Sharapova has played in only four events since her doping suspension expired in April.

The USTA didn't consider her suspension in awarding the wild card, saying it was following past practice of granting them to former US Open champions who needed them, such as Martina Hingis, Lleyton Hewitt, Kim Cljisters and Juan Martin del Potro.

"Consistent with past practice, a wildcard was provided to a past U.S. champion who needed the wildcard for entry into the main draw".

Sharapova was forced to withdraw from the Rogers Cup and the ongoing Cincinnati Open as a precautionary measure. She has been given a wild card said the tournament organisers.

Sharapova, currently ranked at 148 on the WTA leaderboard, beat Justine Henin-Hardene to win her sole title in NY but she will now look to win a second US Open crown 11 years on from that triumph.

The 30-year-old Sharapova has not appeared in a Grand Slam since losing to American Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals in 2016.

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