Tennis player Maria Sharapova returned to the tennis stage after a 15-month doping ban, but she wasn't met with the most open arms, the Associated Press reported. The tennis pro entered the sold-out arena to polite applause and some whistling.
In her first match, Sharapova went up against Roberta Vinci in the opening-round of the Porsche Grand Prix. She beat Vinci 7-5, 6-3.
WATCH | Sharapova clinches the opening round of the Porsche Grand Prix.
The scandal surfaced last year when the five-time Grand Slam champion tested positive for the banned substance known as meldonium. She had been taking the drug for many years but overlooked an announcement by the World Anti-Doping Agency that it added meldonium to the banned list on Jan. 1, 2016.
After initially hit with a two-year ban, Sharapova appealed to ultimately receive the 15-month suspension.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that she bore "less than significant fault" in the case and that she could not "be considered to be an intentional doper."
Due to the ban, Sharapova lost her no. 1 ranking. Several players, including Vinci, blasted the decision to ultimately extend an invitation to Sharapova.
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