Maria Sharapova returns competitive tennis to face Monica Puig in Puerto Rico

Tharushan Fernando

Maria Sharapova makes a return to competitive tennis Thursday (December 15) when she took on recent Olympic champ Monica Puig in Puerto Rico.

The event was the inaugural Monica Puig Invitational and Puig, who won a tennis gold medal at the Rio Games. The 23-year old defeated the Russian 6-3 1-6 10-8.

“To be playing and invited in a place where I’ve never been to before, it’s very special, so I want to thank everyone who is part of this organization and the Puerto Rican tourism and Monica for inviting me to this very special event,” said Sharapova speaking to reporters at a news conference before the match.

Sharapova is currently serving her 15 month ban for testing positive for the banned substance meldonium and is scheduled to return to the WTA Tour in April of 2017.