Former champ Maria Sharapova given US Open wild card

Maria Sharapova will return to Grand Slam play later this month at the US Open.

The USTA on Tuesday granted the 148th-ranked player a wild card to the final major of the season.

"Her suspension under the terms of the tennis anti-doping program was completed and therefore was not one of the factors weighed in our wild-card selection process," the USTA wrote in a statement. "Consistent with past practice, a wild card was provided to a past US [Open] champion who needed the wild card for entry into the main draw."

Sharapova has played only four events since returning from a 15-month doping suspension in late April. In May, the French Tennis Federation denied her a wild card into qualifying and the main draw at the French Open. Sharapova then pulled out of Wimbledon qualifying with a thigh injury.

Sharapova returned two weeks ago in Stanford, California, only to withdraw before the start of the second round with soreness in her left arm.

She won the US Open in 2006, her second of five major titles. She has not competed in a Grand Slam event in nearly 18 months.

In its statement, the USTA also listed former US Open champions who previously received main-draw wild cards, including Martina Hingis, Lleyton Hewitt, Kim Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro.

"Additionally, Sharapova has volunteered to speak to young tennis players at the USTA National Campus about the importance of the tennis anti-doping program and the personal responsibility each player has to comply with the program's requirements," the USTA statement said.

Sharapova was one of eight players who were granted wild cards for the 2017 US Open, including Americans Taylor Townsend and Kayla Day.

The US Open begins Aug. 28 in New York.