Russian banned for using illegal substance has been given a wildcard entry into the event
MARIA SHARAPOVA shows off her warrior spirit by posing in Rome’s Colosseum ahead of the Italian Open.
The Russian star has been given a wildcard entry into the event following her ban for taking an outlawed substance.
Sharapova, who was joined by Tomas Berdych in the famous structure built almost 2,000 years ago, kicks off her campaign against American Christina McHale today.
The 30-year-old will have all eyes on her in centre court at the red clay tournament, where she starts in the round of 64.
Sharapova leapt for joy as she smiled and posed for photos.
Jose Mourinho says Man United don’t want to play Prem matches before storming out of interview
Man Utd and City can get Gianluigi Donnarumma for just £20m as keeper admits he is moving to Prem
Coleen’s gambling fear
Coleen Rooney ready to BLOCK Wayne’s China move if she thinks he will blow their money betting
Manchester United and Ajax set for another battle as both club’s target Malmo forward Pawel Cibicki
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi ‘wraps up’ 2016-17 European Golden Shoe award ahead of rival Cristiano Ronaldo
SIGNED SEAD DELIVERED?
Arsenal ‘complete’ first summer signing as Schalke defender Saed Kolasinac agrees deal
David De Gea ‘has already asked Manchester United to sell him to Real Madrid’ as Red Devils look to negotiate deal
EU HAD IT EASY
Arsene Wenger aims cheeky jibe at champions Chelsea – claiming they had it easy this season
Wat on earth?
Heurelho Gomes leaves passers-by stunned as he wears full Watford kit while waiting to be picked up by a friend outside of Parliament
‘Anything can happen’
Dele Alli leaves door open to sensational Real Madrid move as he refuses to rule out a Spurs exit
Former Leeds and Republic of Ireland star Robert Bayly busted with over £200,000 worth of cannabis
Yaya wait on offer
Yaya Toure to be offered late Man City deal … but won’t know terms until after top-four spot is secure
Gift of the Gab
Neymar’s sister Rafaella confirms she is dating Brazil and Inter Milan forward Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa
Bridge of Highs
Chelsea party, JT farewell and blooding youth… five reasons why Monday night’s game is worth watching
CARR CONVERTS TO COACH
Michael Carrick to get new Manchester United deal as player and Under 23s coach
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic set to make ambitious move for Napoli winger Dries Mertens this summer
But her return to tennis after a 15-month ban has not always been so cheery.
Rival Eugenie Bouchard branded Sharapova a “cheater” ahead of their grudge match in the Madrid Open.
Canadian Bouchard went on to win that showdown, claiming a 7-4 2-6 6-4 victory, and said it was “one of my more prouder matches”.
But things could be picking up for Sharapova off the court.
She has been seen cosying up to fellow tennis star Grigor Dimitrov, who is said to be on a break from pop star girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger.