The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, started today, but it doesn’t really start until Wednesday.
That’s the day Maria Sharapova’s ITF ban for doping ends, and she’ll take to the court immediately in Stuttgart with a wildcard entry, to the disgust of many of her fellow top WTA players, and many tennis fans.
The 30-year-old will try and pick up where her career left off 15 months ago when she tested positive for a recently-banned substance that was in the past given to Russian soldiers entering the battlefield.
Sharapova will enter the Stuttgart battlefield when she takes on Italy’s Roberta Vinci in her opener on the red clay.
Here is a look at the strong field this week in Stuttgart for the 40th edition of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
Seeds: Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova, Dominika Cibulkova, Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Johanna Konta, Agnieszka Radwanska, Svetlana Kuznetsova
Floaters: Carla Suarez Navarro, (WC) Maria Sharapova, Kiki Bertens, CoCo Vandeweghe
Notes: All eight seeds are Top-10 ranked…The Top 4 seeds receive opening-round byes…No. 10-ranked Madison Keys is not in attendance, but if she were she would be unseeded in the draw…Potential tough starts for (5) Muguruza vs. Suarez Navarro in an all-Spanish, (7) Radwanska vs. (WC) Sharapova 2nd rd., (8) Kuznetsova vs. Bertens, and (2) Pliskova vs. Vandeweghe who is riding a wave of confidence from Fed Cup…Radwanska has been one of the more vocal critics of Sharapova’s wildcard-laden return to the tour…Tournament wildcards were awarded to Sharapova, Brit Johanna Konta and German Laura Siegemund…The singles winner will in addition to prize money will receive a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet…Withdrawing from the event were Keys and Caroline Garcia…Kerber is the two-time defending champ, last year beating Siegemund in the final…Former champs in the field are Kerber (2016-15), Sharapova (2014-12), and Kuznetsova (2009).
You Might Like:
Sharapova Joins 8 of Top 10 at WTA Stuttgart; Preview
Maria Sharapova Set For April 26th Return From Ban In Stuttgart
Maria Sharapova Rises From No Ranking To 262
Maria Sharapova Reportedly Won’t Get A French Open Main Draw Wildcard
Sharapova, Halep Breeze Into Stuttgart SFs, Pliskova Out