Regardless all the critics and mayhem media The Russian has been through since the news of her flunking a drug test during 2016 Australian Open, Maria Sharapova is one of those names that could make a sports' relevance grow. After a 15 months ban, she returned to action last spring although having little success mostly due to a hip injury and a certain lack of official matches under her belt. That rusty feature had a chance to dissolve during the ongoing North Ameican hard court swing where Sharapova received several wild-cards entries. But, as usual, a big name and a wild-card won't get the job done as other variables must be taken into account too.

Once again, Sharapova saw her odds sinking after having played only a match at Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, CA.

Sharapova withdrew with a left arm injury

At 30 years of age and after more than a year outside the competitive area, a lot of things can go off the rail while trying to regain that lost pace. For such a skillful player like Sharapova, it might be frustrating to not being allowed to deliver her best tennis due to some injuries. But that's how things stand as the body needs time to adjust to the new environment. At Stanford, Sharapova resumed her season by playing her first official match since May when she was forced to call an end to her run in Rome (Premier 5 event) due to a hip injury.

In the opening round at Stanford, the former world No. 1 from Russian got past Jennifer Brady in three sets. She was due to play with Lesia Tsurenko who further received a walk over in the last eight stages. Despite being forced to withdraw with a left arm injury, Sharapova will receive 55 ranking points for reaching the last 16 stages.

In the live WTA ranking, that will put her somewhere around the 150th place.

Wild-cards for Rogers Cup and Cincinnati, US Open still pending

According to the WTA official site, Sharapova's injury may not be that bad and it's likely to have her in the main draw of the future events prior to US Open. She already received wild-cards entries in Canada at Rogers Cup and in Cincinnati.

Both tournaments are in the Premier 5 category having a lot of points at stake. Sharapova has to reach the quarterfinals of at least one in order to see her name moving up inside the top 100.

A five-time Grand Slam champion and the winner of 2006 US Open, Sharapova is still waiting for a decision regarding her presence in the main draw at Flushing Meadows. Her ranking was not enough to receive a direct acceptance and she could use another wild-card.