Maria Sharapova returns to the tennis court since drugs ban; Expected to return to competitive tennis in April 2017

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Maria Sharapova returns
Photo courtesy: J Chou/Flickr

Maria Sharapova returns. The 29-year-old Russian tennis superstar set foot on a tennis court on Monday for the first time since she tested positive of a prohibited drug at the Australian Open in January.

Sharapova made an appearance during the World Team Tennis Smash Hits charity event in Las Vegas wherein she played a doubles match against Martina Navratilova and Liezel Huber. Sharapova’s teammate was American Taylor Johnson. Sharapova and Johnson lost the match.

“It was a big occasion for her [Johnson] and also for me,” Sharapova told ESPN. “I haven’t been on a court for a while, for both of us, it was to have some fun and a bit of laughs.”

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Sharapova later on teamed up with tennis legend John McEnroe in the mixed doubles event against Navratilova and Andy Roddick.

According to The Guardian, the International Tennis Federation tribunal banned Sharapova for two years in June after the federation ruled that Sharapova was “the sole author of her own misfortune” when she decided to continue taking meldonium. This is after meldonium had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency banned list.

Meanwhile, the Russian star earned a reduction in her drug ban from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last Tuesday making her 2-year ban cut to only 15 months. Maria Sharapova returns to competitive tennis in April 25, 2017, as posted by Daily Mail.

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“Tennis is my passion and I have missed it. I am counting the days until I can return to the court,” said Sharapova after hearing the news.

Photo courtesy: J Chou/Flickr

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