MALLORCA, Spain - Former World No.1 Maria Sharapova has announced the time and place of her long awaited comeback to WTA action, accepting a wildcard into the 2019 Mallorca Open.
“I’m so happy to be able to announce that I’m going to accept a wildcard into the Mallorca Open,” Sharapova said in a statement. “I want to thank the tournament for the opportunity it’s given me and for my incredible fans who have been supporting me these past months.”
Sharapova has been away from the courts since January after a continuing right shoulder injury derailed the first half of her season. After pulling out of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy after the first round due to a problem with the joint, she announced a month later that she was recovering from a ‘small procedure’ in her shoulder.
“As many of you know, I have struggled with shoulder pain since last summer,” she said in a February Instagram post. “For ten weeks post US Open, I focused on getting my rotator cuff and scapula strong to support a surgically repaired fraying tendon and a small labrum tear. Although my shoulder got strong, it didn't help the pain on impact.
“After a few different opinions in a few different countries, last week I had a small procedure done which will take a few weeks to heal. Although this has been a very long process, I am incredibly committed to getting back strong and more importantly without the pain I was playing with at the beginning of the year.”
While the procedure and recovery have left her out of the clay season, Sharapova has hit the ground running in preparation for the grass. According to social media posts, she’s already been in Mallorca since last week as she assessed her level in a training block - as well as enjoyed the sights that the Balearic island has to offer.
With the wildcard, Sharapova will join fellow former WTA World No.1s Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka in what is shaping up to be a star-studded draw for the International-level Wimbledon tune-up event.
Tournament director Toni Nadal was thrilled with what organizers called ‘the best draw in the history of the tournament’: “As the tournament director of the Mallorca Open and a mallorquín, I am thrilled to welcome the best stars of the tennis sky, such as Maria Sharapova, Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka, to this WTA tournament that we’re hosting on our beautiful island.”
The Mallorca Open will take place at the Country Club Santa Ponsa and kicks off on June 17.