Sharapova, who had five stints as the No. 1 player on the Women’s Tennis Association singles rankings, most recently in 2012, is set to play for the first time since May 16, when a thigh injury forced her to retire from her match she was leading Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 4-6, 6-3, 2-1.
She was suspended Jan. 26, 2016, by the International Tennis Federation for an anti-doping rule violation. She regained her eligibility to play on April 26.
Sharapova reached the semifinals of her first tournament following her suspension, the $719,000 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, then lost in the second round of both her tournaments since then.
She is set to play for the Breakers for a second and final time this season July 24 at Breakers Stadium at Palisades Tennis Club, also against the Aviators.
None of the players who helped the Breakers to a league-best-equaling 8- 4 record in 2016 will return to the team on a full-time basis in 2017. Nicole Gibbs, the league’s female MVP in 2017, will play for the team Monday in its home opener against the Springfield Lasers.
The Breakers selected five-time WTA singles champion Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium with their first-round choice in the World TeamTennis draft in March.
The rest of the roster for Sunday’s match consists of Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili, the league’s male MVP in 2015, who advanced to the fourth round of men’s singles play at the French Open in 2010 and 2015; Slovenian Andreja Klepac, a four-time doubles champion on the WTA circuit; and Englishman Ken Skupski, a three-time doubles champion on the Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour.
World TeamTennis matches consist of one set each of men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles, with the team winning the most games winning the match.
–City News Service
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