DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Maria Sharapova has accepted a wildcard to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next month.

The five-time Grand Slam winner last played the event in 2006, when she finished as runner-up to Justine Henin.

"Maria Sharapova has enjoyed much success and won many titles, but she will face very strong opponents here who are equally keen to claim the title," said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. "It will be interesting to see if she can fight off her eager challengers who will be determined to make headlines by beating one of the legends of the game."

“Maria Sharapova is one of the most famous athletes in the world, and in 2014 she became the first tennis player, male or female, to pass 15 million fans on Facebook" said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak. “It is a pleasure to welcome such a popular player back to Dubai and we look forward to seeing how she fares against so many other contenders for the title."

The field in Dubai also includes Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova, Garbiñe Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, Madison Keys and Ashleigh Barty.