FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Australian Open – Fourth Round – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 20, 2019. Russia’s Maria Sharapova looks on during the match against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
(Reuters) – Former world number one Maria Sharapova is set to return to the tour after accepting a wildcard entry at the Mallorca Open, four months after undergoing surgery on her right shoulder.
The Russian has not competed since she withdrew from a second-round match at the WTA St Petersburg Ladies Trophy in January and she skipped the entire claycourt season, including the French Open.
“I’m very happy… to announce that I’m going to accept the wild card to play the Mallorca Open,” the 32-year-old said in a statement.
“I want to thank the tournament for the opportunity it gives me and all my incredible fans who have been supporting me in recent months.”
The Mallorca Open, a warm-up grasscourt tournament for players before Wimbledon, begins on June 17 and the draw will also feature other former world number ones such as defending Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond