Sharapova awarded main draw wildcard at US Open

Aug 15 (Reuters) - Former world number one Maria Sharapova will make her first grand slam appearance in over 18 months after she was awarded a main-draw wildcard for the upcoming U.S. Open, the tennis tournament's organizers confirmed on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old Russian, who returned from a 15-month doping ban earlier this year, was denied a wildcard at the French Open, then missed the grasscourt season, including Wimbledon, with a thigh injury.

Sharapova tested positive for the drug meldonium in 2016, which had been added to the banned substances list in January of that year.

Related: See Sharapova against Serena Williams through the years: 

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Serena Williams Vs. Maria Sharapova
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Serena Williams Vs. Maria Sharapova
Russia's Maria Sharapova (L) reacts as she shakes hands with Serena Williams of the U.S. after Williams won their quarter-final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Serena Williams of the U.S. hits a shot during her quarter-final match against Russia's Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Russia's Maria Sharapova stretches for a shot during her quarter-final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Serena Williams of the U.S.A. shakes hands with Maria Sharapova of Russia after winning their match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 9, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Serena Williams of the U.S.A. hits a shot during her match against Maria Sharapova of Russia at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 9, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Maria Sharapova of Russia stretches for a shot during her match against Serena Williams of the U.S.A. at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 9, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Tennis great Martina Navratilova (C) stands with Serena Williams (L) of the U.S. as she holds the winner's trophy next to Maria Sharapova of Russia after winning their women's singles final match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 31, 2015. REUTERS/Issei Kato (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Serena Williams (R) of the U.S. shakes hands with Maria Sharapova of Russia after defeating her in their women's singles final match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 31, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after defeating Maria Sharapova of Russia in their women's singles final match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 31, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after losing a point to Serena Williams of the U.S. during their women's singles final match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 31, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Mar 27, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Serena Williams (right) shakes hands with Maria Sharapova (left) after their match on day eleven of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Wiliams won 6-4, 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Serena Williams hits a forehand against Maria Sharapova (not pictured) on day eleven of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Maria Sharapova hits a forehand against Serena Williams (not pictured) on day eleven of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Serena Williams of the U.S. shakes hands with Maria Sharapova (L) of Russia after winning their women's singles final match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 8, 2013. Serena Williams proved an irresistible force once more as she powered past Maria Sharapova 6-4 6-4 to win the French Open for the second time on Saturday - 11 years after her first triumph. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe (FRANCE - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts after defeating Maria Sharapova (R) of Russia in their women's singles final match to win the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 8, 2013. Serena Williams proved an irresistible force once more as she powered past Maria Sharapova 6-4 6-4 to win the French Open for the second time on Saturday - 11 years after her first triumph. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe (FRANCE - Tags: SPORT TENNIS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates defeating Maria Sharapova of Russia in their women's singles final match to win the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 8, 2013. Serena Williams proved an irresistible force once more as she powered past Maria Sharapova 6-4 6-4 to win the French Open for the second time on Saturday - 11 years after her first triumph. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Serena Williams (R) of the U.S. poses with her trophy next to runner-up Maria Sharapova (L) of Russia after winning the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 8, 2013. Serena Williams proved an irresistible force once more as she powered past Maria Sharapova 6-4 6-4 to win the French Open for the second time on Saturday - 11 years after her first triumph. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes (FRANCE - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Serena Williams of the U.S. (L) and Maria Sharapova of Russia pose with their first and second place trophies after their Madrid Open final tennis match in Madrid May 12, 2013. World number one and top seed Williams racked up the 50th title of her 18-year career when she thumped Sharapova 6-1 6-4 to defend her Madrid Open crown on Sunday. REUTERS/Juan Medina (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Serena Williams of the U.S. (C) waves with her gold medal along with silver medallist Maria Sharapova of Russia (L) and bronze medallist Victoria Azarenka of Belarus during the presentation ceremony at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 4, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT TENNIS)
Russia's Maria Sharapova hits a return to Serena Williams of the U.S. during their final WTA tennis championships match in Istanbul, October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Serena Williams of the U.S. hits a return to Russia's Maria Sharapova during their final WTA tennis championships match in Istanbul, October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Winner Serena Williams of the U.S. (L) and second-placed Maria Sharapova of Russia pose after their final WTA tennis championships match in Istanbul, October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Serena Williams of the U.S. (C) celebrates before receiving her gold medal as silver medallist Maria Sharapova of Russia (L) and bronze medallist Victoria Azarenka of Belarus look on during the presentation ceremony at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 4, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT TENNIS)
Serena Williams (R) of the U.S. and Russia's Maria Sharapova walk out to Centre Court at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates winning the first set against Russia's Maria Sharapova at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Russia's Maria Sharapova reacts to hitting a serve into the net against Serena Williams of the U.S.at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Russia's Maria Sharapova hits a return to Serena Williams of the U.S. at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)
Serena Williams of the U.S. and Russia's Maria Sharapova shake hands after Williams wins the women's final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 27, 2007. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside (AUSTRALIA)
Serena Williams of the U.S. hits a shot during the women's final match against Russia's Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 27, 2007. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA)
Russia's Maria Sharapova hits a shot during the women's final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 27, 2007. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA)
Serena Williams of the U.S. holds the winner's trophy after beating Russia's Maria Sharapova in the women's final at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 27, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne (AUSTRALIA)
Russia's Maria Sharapova holds the runners up trophy after losing to Serena Williams of the U.S. in the women's finals at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 27, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne (AUSTRALIA)
Serena Williams (R) of the U.S. and Russia's Maria Sharapova hold their trophies after the women's finals match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 27, 2007. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside (AUSTRALIA)
Thirteenth seed Maria Sharapova of Russia serves to top seed Serena Williams of the U.S. in their women's singles final match on Centre Court at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 3, 2004. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque MD/WS
Top seed Serena Williams of the U.S. hits a backhand return to thirteenth seed Maria Sharapova of Russia in their women's singles final match on Centre Court at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 3, 2004. REUTERS/Ian Hodgson MD/DL
Thirteenth seed Maria Sharapova (L) of Russia stands with Serena Williams of the U.S. as they hold their respective trophies after their women's final match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 3, 2004. Seventeen-year-old Sharapova won the match, which was her first Wimbledon and Grand Slam singles title, 6-1 6-4. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque MD/WS
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The 2006 US Open champion and five-time Grand Slam winner claimed to have been unaware of the International Tennis Federation's rule change.

Sharapova's U.S. Open preparations have been disrupted by an arm injury suffered during her first-round win over Jennifer Brady earlier this month.

The world number 148 was forced to withdraw from the Rogers Cup and the ongoing Cincinnati Open as a precautionary measure before the final grand slam of the year.

Other wildcard recipients on the women's side were Americans Taylor Townsend, Kayla Day, Sofia Kenin, Ashley Kratzer, Brienne Minor and France's Amandine Hesse.

The U.S. Open runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 10 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows, New York.

Both the men's and women's singles champions this year will earn $3.7 million.

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