Maria Sharapova has announced she will compete in the Brisbane International after taking a wildcard.
The five-time grand slam champion only played 15 matches in 2019 due to a troublesome shoulder injury following her return from a doping ban.
Sharapova’s world ranking has plummeted to 133 and she will face a tough field which includes Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty, defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, reigning Brisbane International champion Karolina Pliskova and Venus Williams.
Waking to some good news ahead of the New Year 🙌🏼 . . Five time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova touches down in Queensland today after being awarded a wildcard into the Brisbane International ☀️ . . #BrisbaneTennis #ThisIsBrisbane #ThisIsQueensland #MariaSharapova
A post shared by Brisbane Tennis (@brisbanetennis) on Dec 30, 2019 at 11:19am PST
“Brisbane, I’ve missed you, and I’m so excited to be starting off my year 2020 at your tournament, in your city,” the 32-year-old said on Brisbane Tennis’ official Instagram account.
“I’ve missed the fans, I’ve missed the event so much, and I am so looking forward to seeing everyone.”
The tournament comes ahead of the first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open, which takes place in Melbourne from January 20 until February 2.