Australian Open organisers defending Sharapova even before a serve has been made

By: Radio Sport


sharapovaAustralian Open organisers have defended the decision to have Maria Sharapova walk the trophy on to the court for the tournament draw.

Sharapova’s back in Australia for the first time since being banned after a doping violation at the 2016 Open.

Tournament director Craig Tiley said they wanted to have a former champion at the draw and it’s the 10-year anniversary of her winning in Melbourne.

Sharapova’s unseeded this year and has drawn Germany’s Tatjana Maria in the first round.

Top seed Simona Halep will face a local wildcard in the first round, while men’s world number one Rafael Nadal will start his bid for a second title in Melbourne against Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos.


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