Returning Sharapova shrugs off criticism
Maria Sharapova has brushed off criticism from her rivals as she prepares to make her return next week as a wildcard in Stuttgart following her 15-month doping ban. "That is the least of my concerns," the 30-year-old Russian told Stern magazine. "I haven't wasted a single thought on it. I know that I am respected in my field," said Sharapova, a five-times Grand Slam champion. She had an initial two-year suspension by the ITF reduced to 15 months after she tested positive at the 2016 Australian Open for meldonium. Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki said the Stuttgart tournament's decision to grant Sharapova a wildcard is "disrespectful to other players and the WTA".