Rogers Cup: Maria Sharapova receives a wild card to participate in Toronto

Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova will continue her preparations for the US Open at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. The former world number one received a wildcard into the main draw, and she last competed in Toronto in 2011. Sharapova will be competing at the Rogers Cup for the first time since 2014, in the Montreal edition.

Tournament director Karl Hale has welcomed the Russian's entry with open arms. "Maria is a Grand Slam champion and a fan favourite. She has served her suspension and we know our guests will be excited to see her play. She will join what is set to be a star-studded field, as we look forward to welcoming the best of women's tennis back to Toronto this summer.

Hale continued, "It should be a fantastic Rogers Cup filled with high-quality tennis and entertainment."

Sharapova's last appearance in Canada was in the French-Canadian city of Montreal back in 2014. She defeated Garbine Muguruza in the second round but lost to Muguruza's compatriot Carla Suarez Navarro in the third round. The Russian served her 15-month suspension, and she made her competitive return at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was a three-time former champion. She lost to Kristina Mladenovic in the semifinals, and she lost to Eugenie Bouchard in the second round in Madrid. Unfortunately, she's suffering from a thigh injury which led her to retirement in her second round match with Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Sharapova will not be participating at the French Open this year (Photo by Gareth Copley / Getty)
Sharapova will not be participating at the French Open this year (Photo by Gareth Copley / Getty)

The former world number one was delighted on receiving a wildcard. "I'm really looking forward to coming back to Canada. I have some great memories of playing Toronto in the past, and the tournament and the fans have always been so supportive. This is one of the biggest events of the year, and I hope to play my best tennis that week."

The tournament has also noted on their website, that should Sharapova's ranking continue to rise for the main draw cut-off point, her wildcard would be awarded to someone else.

The five-time Grand Slam champion's best result at the Rogers Cup in Toronto was an appearance in the final in 2009. Sharapova lost to compatriot Elena Dementieva in straight sets. The Russian will not be participating at the French Open as the FFT decided not to award a wildcard into the main draw or qualifying. She has been awarded a wildcard at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, as part of her grass-court preparations for Wimbledon.