Europe

Sharapova to return from ban in April at Stuttgart event

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 file photo, Maria Sharapova speaks to members of the media prior to a World Team Tennis exhibition in Las Vegas, U.S. Sharapova will return from her 15-month doping ban at a tournament in Germany in April. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, file)

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 file photo, Maria Sharapova speaks to members of the media prior to a World Team Tennis exhibition in Las Vegas, U.S. Sharapova will return from her 15-month doping ban at a tournament in Germany in April. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, file)  (The Associated Press)

Maria Sharapova will return from her 15-month doping ban at a tournament in Germany in April.

Car manufacturer Porsche, which sponsors both Sharapova and the event in Stuttgart, says Sharapova has been given a wild-card entry into the tournament. It will be her first official competition since she tested positive for meldonium at last year's Australian Open.

Sharapova, who won the Stuttgart tournament from 2012-14, says "I could not be happier to have my first match back on tour at one of my favorite tournaments."

Sharapova was originally banned for two years but that was reduced on appeal in October. She said she had used meldonium for years and was not aware it had been banned for 2016.