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US Open gives Maria Sharapova a chance - now can she use it?

US Open gives Maria Sharapova a chance - now can she use it?”

"But we are not", Sharapova wrote. She had her chance to compete in Wimbledon to finally get back onto the Grand Slam stage, but she dropped out of the competition due to a thigh injury.

"Her suspension under the terms of the tennis anti-doping program was completed and therefore was not one of the factors weighed in our wild-card selection process", the USTA wrote in a statement.

She will be hoping to match her singles title at the US Open in 2006 and improve upon her haul of five Major titles.

The five-time Grand Slam victor will face a hard road at the Open as one of eight wild card qualifiers.

Other players handed wildcards include young last year's US Open junior champion Kayla Day and former junior world number one, Taylor Townsend.

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The Open had never denied a wild card to a past champion that required it. Martina Hingis, Juan Martin del Potro and Lleyton Hewitt were granted wild cards coming off injury impacted seasons.

Sharapova will also speak to youth about the benefits of the anti-doping program and the need for players to be vigilant about the banned substance list, something she admitted not doing when she did not catch meldonium being added to the ban list in 2016. Originally given a two-year ban, the punishment was reduced to 15 months upon her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which ruled that Sharapova bore "some degree of fault" but not "significant fault" for the failed drug test.

Now ranked 148th in the world, Sharapova has received a wild-card entry for the 2017 #US Open Tennis Championships, the last #Grand Slam of the season and the event that will end the US Open Series. This year's tournament at Flushing Meadows runs from 28 August to 10 September.

French Open chiefs took a stand earlier in the year when they refused to give Sharapova a wildcard into the first round OR qualifying.

Her preparations for the tournament have been hampered by an arm injury suffered during her win over Jennifer Brady at the Stanford Classic a fortnight ago. She no longer has to worry about that hurdle thanks to the USTA's controversial decision.

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