Tennis: Sharapova returns to action in Brisbane

Maria Sharapova has not played since a first-round loss to career-long rival Serena Williams at the US Open in August.
Maria Sharapova has not played since a first-round loss to career-long rival Serena Williams at the US Open in August.PHOTO: AP

PARIS (AFP) - Former tennis world No. 1 Maria Sharapova will open her 2020 campaign in Brisbane after being awarded a wild card by the organisers, the five-time Grand Slam winner announced on Monday (Dec 30).

The 32-year-old Russian has not played since a first-round loss to career-long rival Serena Williams at the US Open in August.

"Hi Brisbane, I have missed you so much and I am so excited to start my season at your tournament and in your city," Sharapova said in a video message on her Instagram account.

"I'm looking forward to seeing you all in a couple of days."

Sharapova has slipped to No. 133 in the world rankings after a 2019 season plagued by a shoulder injury which limited her to just 15 competitive matches.

She won the Brisbane title in 2015.

This year's tournament in the eastern Australian city gets under way on Jan 6.