Sharapova plays in Vegas charity event

Maria Sharapova made her first appearance on a tennis court on Tuesday since being banned in January.

The Russian superstar featured in charity event in Las Vegas – World Team Tennis Smash Hits –  which raises money for the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Sharapova partnered up with 16-year-old American Taylor Johnson in for a doubles tie against legend Martina Navratilova and Liezel Huber, where she lost.

"It's very special to be back on the court," the five time grand slam winner told ESPN after the event at Caesar’s Palace.

"It's been about seven months since I've played in front of spectators and played in a stadium environment. Obviously, very thankful for the invitation, happy to be part of this cause.

"It's been around for 24 years and it's my first attendance. Thrilled to be part of it."



Later, Sharapova would team up with John McEnroe where they lost to Navratilova and Andy Roddick.

Sharapova was banned after testing positive for meldonium during the Australian Open. Her initial ban was reduced to 18 months, meaning she will be eligible to play professionally in April 2017.

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