Sharapova Set for Possibly-Unwelcoming 2017 Debut at Stuttgart; WTA Preview
by Staff | April 24th, 2017, 10:52 am

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

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

13 Comments for Sharapova Set for Possibly-Unwelcoming 2017 Debut at Stuttgart; WTA Preview

lyle nubbins Says:

I am not a Shriekapova groupie but if you look at all aspects of what has happened to her (suspension, negative media, lost endorsements) she has in fact suffered serious consequences the doping.

RZ Says:

Cibulkova has withdrawn. Muguruza got moved into her spot

madmax Says:

Let’s be clear on this one. The decision to add meldonium to the banned list was approved on 16 September 2015, and it came into effect on 1 January 2016. It was LEGAL when she was taking it UP UNTIL THAT DATE. Quick switch, over night and she becomes a junkie? Unfair. That is what is unfair.
Wada had spent the previous year monitoring the drug before adding it to the banned list. I still think this has been blown out of all proportion.

I am not a big fan of Sharapova. I don’t condone what she has done, but she has paid the price and lost the reputation that she held dear. I think she was caught between a rock and a hard place.

Hell, who knows? Who really, truly knows?

chrisford1 Says:

No fan of Sharapova’s, but she did her time penalty and should not be shut out of a livelihood. Many a star player in the past juiced and didn’t get caught, but fans of those particular players are not down on them, merely because while everyone knew or strongly suspected – they didn’t get caught! Not getting caught is the moral fine line of sports fans.
That some players are “disgusted” with her return just marks them as longtime enemies and haters of the big rich Russian marketing machine – BEFORE she got caught.
Maybe she can win something without Serena dogging her in any tournament both enter.

Willow Says:

Agree in that shes done her time now, and all assuming shes still the same player, she has a chance to make hay with Serena missing from the tour, im sure she will be smiling and smelling blood ….

J-Kath Says:

Well let’s hope she’s too busy “smiling and smelling blood” to continue her “blue murder shrieking”.

Willow Says:

J-Kath too true lol ….

J-Kath Says:

Well, Willow – I hear the gossip columns are buzzing with celebrity gossp and a certain Willow the wispish lass – ahem, ahem!

Willow Says:

J-Kath lol, i never kiss and tell ;-) ….

Leo Says:

@madmax – agreed. She did not deny taking it.

I bet there are any number of supplements or drugs taken today that may be banned next year. And some of our favorite players may be taking that.

That said I hope she doesn’t get the WC to FO. It would be cool if she wins the whole darn thing, going through quallies.

Willow Says:

Agree with Leo ….

sinha71 Says:

From one former ShriekaDopa fan…

No, come on, Genie, tell us how you really feel. BOOM!

“I don’t think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again,” Bouchard said.

Many WTA players have come out and said that Maria Sharapova doesn’t deserve to receive wild cards following her 15-month suspension for testing positive for meldonium.

Eugenie Bouchard has taken it a step further: She doesn’t believe that the five-time Grand Slam champion should be allowed to play—period.

“I don’t think that’s right,” the Canadian told TRT World when asked about the Russian receiving wild cards. “She’s a cheater, and I don’t think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again. It’s so unfair to all the other players who do it the right way, and are true. I think from the WTA it sends the wrong message to young kids: Cheat, and we’ll welcome you back with open arms.

“I don’t think that’s right, and [she’s] definitely not someone I can say I look up to anymore because it’s definitely ruined it for me a little bit.”

Vince Says:

Shame on you bouchard…You will never be on a news for winning matches.. You got to make these kind of statements or some stunts so everyone can talk about u..

Top story: Murray Advances In Metz, Makes QFs