Maria Sharapova is set to make her first appearance at a tennis event since her infamous drugs test ban when she laces up her boots to take part in the World Tennis Tour (WTT) Smash Hits, which is a one-night tennis exhibition and is part of the Elton John Aids Foundation.
Besides her, the WTT will also feature some of the biggest names in the sport with John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and Mark Philippoussis set to take part in the event that will be held in multi-coloured court of Las Vegas in the World Team Tennis format.
Elton John and the legendary Billie Jean King will be the coaches for the event while the duo along with Roddick and a surprise guest are expected to play a celebrity guest match in the evening. Despite the stars on show, the world's gaze will be on Sharapova who will be appearing in a tennis event for the first time since the Australian Open earlier this year.
"I am really excited to get back on the court for a great cause. I have been wanting to play this event for Billie and Elton for a long time, so I am looking forward for a great night of tennis", said Sharapova, as quoted by review journal.
The Russian, who failed a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open for taking the banned drug Meldonium, was initially banned from the sport for two years. However, her ban has been reduced to 15 months after lodging an appeal with the Court of Arbirtration of Sport (CAS).
Recently reports emerged that the Russian's legal team was mulling of suing the International Tennis Federation (ITF) claiming that the star was forced to live with the ITF's bad judgment and faulty conclusions for many months. The 29-year-old can officially return to the court on 26 April, 2017.