Maria Sharapova victorious in first match since ban

She defeat Roberta Vinci in Stuttgart

BY Raf Diallo 20:25 Wednesday 26 April 2017, 20:25 26 Apr 2017

Maria Sharapova in action in Stuttgart. Daniel Maurer/DPA/PA Images

Maria Sharapova has started her controversial return to tennis with a win.

In her first match since serving a 15 month drugs ban, she got past Roberta Vinci in straight sets 7-5 6-3 at the Stuttgart Open.

The decision to give her a wild card entry into the tournament has been criticised, including by Vinci who on Monday had said: "I don't agree about the wildcard here and about the wildcard in Rome and the other tournaments. 

"She's a great player and a person, I've got nothing against her. She paid for her mistake. I think she can return to play, but without any wildcards."

Sharapova tested positive for banned substance meldonium last year.

French Open organisers are due to decide whether the Russian will be granted a wildcard for the second Grand Slam event of the year.

They will reveal their decision in mid May.

Sharapova has won the French Open twice before in 2012 and 2014.

Sharapova will next play Russian compatriot Ekaterina Makarova in the next round in Stuttgart.


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