CAN SHARAPOVA COME BACK FROM 2-YEAR BAN?
Sharapova was issued a two-year ban by theInternational Tennis Federation on Wednesday for using the banned drug meldonium. The suspension is backdated to January, meaning Sharapova – who said she will appeal – is out until January 2018.She’ll be nearing her 31st birthday by then, and for a player who has dealt with myriad injuries in her career, working with a body that is prone to break downs.Chris Evert, the former world No. 1 and ESPN commentator, thinks that’s it. This is the end for Maria.“I don’t think she can do a two-year ban. I don’t think she can come back,” Evert told USA TODAY Sports in a phone interview. “The players are only getting better. The workload, the training is only harder. She has been on tour for 15 years. You just wonder.” Evert added, “I would be very surprised. I would be surprised to see her come back.”But Evert’s ESPN colleague, Pam Shriver, a former world No. 1 in doubles, sees the time off as most important for Sharapova in a sport that continues to get older.