Stuttgart — From the shadow of Chernobyl’s nuclear wasteland to international superstardom and from penniless arrival in the US, without a word of English, to a fortune of $200m. It may sound like the stuff of Hollywood dreams, but the story of Maria Sharapova is a testament to the power of one individual to make it, whatever the odds, whatever the controversy, whatever people think. On Wednesday in Stuttgart, the 30-year-old will return from a 15-month doping suspension to open the next chapter. When she takes to the court to face Roberta Vinci, it will be to the consternation of many opponents and the relief, albeit privately, of a women’s tour left flagging by the absence of a pregnant Serena Williams, probably Sharapova’s only rival in the arena-filling business. Sharapova shot to international fame as a giggly 17-year-old Wimbledon winner in 2004 — the third-youngest player to conquer the All England Club’s famous grass courts. She would go on to win the Australian and US Opens...

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