As the current season is almost done and the most players are drawing their strategy for the next one, Maria Sharapovais counting months left of her suspension. Earlier this year, in March, during a press conference held in Los Angeles, Sharapova stunned the audience by confessing that she flunked an antidoping test during the Australian Open. The news came as a shock sparking a genuine mayhem with lots of accusationsbeing thrown in from the both sides. It took months until the case settled and a clear verdict was given.

Maria Sharapova considersherself a victim

As expected, this matter split the Tennis community into two different sides.

Among those in favor of high penalties and though sanctions, Roger Federer made his stance clear saying that tennis needs much more anti-doping testing in order to kill all the suspicions.

To support her defense, MariaSharapova stated that her act was wrong but she didn`t take Meldonium to enhance her performance. According to her statement, it was a drug very common in her country and her physician prescribed it for years. The big dilemma mostly revolved around whether Sharapova was aware that Meldonium was added to the banned list of substances starting with effect from 1st of January.

With no prior misconduct, Sharapova hoped for a reasonable decision and a reduced sentence. Firstly, she was given a two year ban from professional tennis.

This decision Sharapova didn`t agree with and so she appealed it.

Sharapova`s career still on the edge

Even though she won the appeal and her punishment was reduced to 15 months, her future as a professional tennis player is still up for debate. Sharapova is expected to be back on the tennis court just before the 2017 French Open.

But some serious issues might prevent her from competing at the highest level.

Firstly, she will be in the position of requesting a wild-card as her ranking is off. Moreover, she`ll need to cope with the pressure an official match generates. She has some exhibition events in December but there is no room for comparisons between a charity event and a Grand Slam match.

As most players agree, there is no better training session than an official encounter when the opponent is totally committed putting in the best tennis. In Sharapova`s case, the lack of matches might be a big issue. Her skills are still there, but at the time when her suspension ends, she`ll be 30 years old and making a full recovery highly is unlikely despite having won 5 Grand Slam titles along the way.

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