x

Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Maria Sharapova outlines plan to compete at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

Russian former world No 1 has added tournament to her official schedule but there is no confirmation from organisers yet.

Maria Sharapova reached the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on her only previous visit in 2006. Quinn Rooney / Getty Images
Maria Sharapova reached the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on her only previous visit in 2006. Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

Maria Sharapova could be set for a return to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after the tournament was added to the former world No 1's schedule on her official website.

Sharapova, 30, has been handed a wildcard for the Qatar Open - the event that immediately precedes the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships - and the Russian could be joining the likes of Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, and Karolina Pliskova in making the short trip across to the UAE. The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships will begin on February 19.

____________________________

Read more:

Bernard Tomic 'digging himself a big hole', warns Lleyton Hewitt

Comment: Caroline Wozniacki's victory brings excitement to women's tennis

Roger Federer set to make decision on Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

____________________________

Sharapova, ranked No 41, will need to be offered a wildcard from the Dubai organisers and while there has been no official confirmation of her participation, the presence of the tournament on her official website suggests the five-time grand slam champion at least intends to compete at the event.

Sharapova, who returned from a 15-month doping suspension last April, has played the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on one previous occasion, reaching the final of the 2006 tournament as an 18-year-old before losing to Justine Henin.

Sharapova's most recent outing was at the Australian Open where she lost in the third round to eventual semi-finalist Angelique Kerber, who is among the players confirmed for Dubai next month. The Russian began her season at the Shenzhen Open, reaching the semi-finals.