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10 Jan, 2017 13:36

‘Couldn’t be happier’: Maria Sharapova will be back April 26

‘Couldn’t be happier’: Maria Sharapova will be back April 26

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova will play her first match following a 15-month suspension at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart on April 26.

“I could not be happier to have my first match back on tour at one of my favourite tournaments,” said Sharapova, as the tournament website reports.

“I can’t wait‎ to see all my great fans and to be back doing what I love,” the 29-year-old tennis star said.

At a quickly organized press-conference in Los Angeles at the beginning of March 2016, Sharapova announced that she had failed a drug test.

The substance in question was meldonium, a heart supporting drug that she had been legally taking for the last 10 years, which had only been included on World Anti-Doping Agency forbidden list less than a month before she took the test.

In June, the five-time Grand Slam champion was suspended by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for two years, but the ban was later reduced to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

READ MORE: Sharapova's ban reduced, may compete starting April 26

Sharapova last played a professional match at the Australian Open in January 2016, where she failed the doping test.

Her suspension started from January 26, 2016, and will expire this year on April 26, which will allow her to compete at The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix that will be held from April 22 to 30 in Stuttgart.

Sharapova has previously won three Stuttgart titles from 2012 to 2014.