Maria Sharapova, of Russia, returns the ball to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, of Croatia, during the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Tuesday, May 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Andrew Medichini
May 23, 2017

TORONTO (AP) Maria Sharapova has been awarded a wild card for the Rogers Cup in August in her comeback from a 15-month doping ban.

Since her return, the former No. 1 player has used wild cards to play three events on the WTA Tour. She was denied a wild card for the French Open.

Rogers Cup tournament director Karl Hale calls her a ''fan favorite,'' noting she has completed her punishment. A number of players have been outspoken about Sharapova receiving free passes into tournaments.

Sharapova reached the Rogers Cup final in 2009. She says she has ''great memories'' of playing in Toronto.

The Russian is now ranked 173rd. If her ranking rises and she makes the main draw on her own, the wild card will go to another player.

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