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Maria Sharapova awarded main draw wildcard at U.S. Open

Jul 31, 2017; Palo Alto, CA, USA; Maria Sharapova (RUS) conducts a post game interview after defeating Jennifer Brady (USA) in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament at Stanford University. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2017; Palo Alto, CA, USA; Maria Sharapova (RUS) conducts a post game interview after defeating Jennifer Brady (USA) in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament at Stanford University. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Former world number one Maria Sharapova will make her first grand slam appearance in over 18 months after she was awarded a main draw wildcard for the upcoming U.S. Open, the tournament organisers confirmed on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old Russian, who returned from a 15-month doping ban earlier this year, was denied a wildcard at the French Open before she missed the grasscourt season, including Wimbledon, with a thigh injury.

Sharapova's U.S. Open preparations have been disrupted by an arm injury suffered during her first round win over Jennifer Brady earlier this month.

The world number 148 was forced to withdraw from the Rogers Cup and the ongoing Cincinnati Open as a precautionary measure ahead of the final grand slam of the year.

The U.S. Open runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 10 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows, New York.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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