Sharapova Claims First Victory After Ban

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As she said on court an hour or so before, after her 7-5, 6-3 win over Roberta Vinci of Italy in the first round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix: "I've been waiting for this moment for a long time".

Yes, I can understand that players who were losing to Sharapova in the years previous to her ban are quite ticked that Sharapova could have cost them money for winnings and seedings and the rest, but banned for life is a little strong.

Whether Sharapova will receive a wildcard for French Open will be known on May 15, just a week before qualifying begins for the second major of the season, which is slated to be held from May 28 to June 11.

"It's going to be tough, but every match I play now is important for me", she said.

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Some fierce returning saw her break for the win, which resulted in a far more positive response from the crowd.

Bouchard said the Women's Tennis Association was sending the wrong message in allowing the five-time Grand Slam-winner to come back from her 15-month suspension.

Russia's Maria Sharapova (right) shakes hands with Canada's Eugenie Bouchard after Sharapova's victory in their women's singles match on Day 9 of the 2015 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.

'Welcome back Masha, ' titled Sport Express in her native Russian Federation, naming her performance in victory over Roberta Vinci 'masterful.' 'Everyone was reminded that women's tennis with and without Sharapova are two completely different things, ' the paper said.

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"I felt I had to grow as a person and I think I've done that. To know I would be walking back into the arena was very special", Sharapova said in a courtside interview. It was Sharapova's first match after a 15 months lasting doping ban.

Sharapova admitted taking the cardiac drug at a press conference last March, insisting her only mistake was not realising the substance had been added to the banned list at the start of 2016. All agreed that it was not right to award Sharapova with a wild card: 'For the kids, for the young players, it is not OK to help with a wild card the player that was banned for doping.

Her ultimate goal is to gain entry into the French Open, as she can earn a place in the qualifying draw for Roland Garros only if she reaches the final in Germany.

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