French Open: Officials decide not to give former champion Maria Sharapova wildcard

French Open: Officials decide not to give former champion Maria Sharapova wildcard: Maria Sharapova is going to miss the French Open after the tournament officials decided not to give the two-time champion a wildcard. Sharapova 30, was ranked too low to gain direct entry into the tournament as she continues her return from a 15-month drugs ban. French Tennis Federation (FFT) chief Bernard Giudicelli Ferrandini had said that “There can be a wildcard for the return from injuries – there cannot be a wildcard for the return from doping“.

The French Open is set to begin on 28th of May. Maria Sharapova had hoped to receive a wildcard either into the main draw or the qualifying tournament. Giudicelli Ferrandini at this moment said “I’m very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans they might be very disappointed, she might be very disappointed, but it’s my responsibility, my mission, to protect the high standards of the game played without any doubt on the result.

Sharapova had returned to action without a ranking last month and has risen to 211 in the world after receiving wildcards in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome. It would insure at least a qualifying spot at Wimbledon next month. Sharapova required to reach the semi-finals of the Italian Open in order to qualify for the Wimbledon’s main draw but retired during the second round on Tuesday when leading Lucic-Baroni 4-6 6-3 2-1.

In a statement she had said “I apologise for having to withdraw from my match with a left thigh injury,” she said. “I will be getting all the necessary examinations to make sure it is not serious.” Sharapova now will have to wait until 20th of June in order to discover whether she is among the wildcards at the All England Club. Former world number Sharapova has not been able to play a grand slam since she tested positive for heart disease drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open. The incident had brought an initial two-year ban but it was later reduced to a 15 months ban. After the Court of Arbitration for Sport found that she was not an “intentional doper”.

With this decision the French Federation’s president has shown that the fight against doping is more important than the lineup for the French Open. It is believed that this may upset fans and cause drop in ratings but ultimately the event is stronger than that. Sharapova might have not got her place in the French Open but she has earned her place in the qualifying for Wimbledon. But injury has deprived her of the chance to play herself into the main draw. But her fans will be able to see her as the Lawn Tennis Association has already offered her a wildcard into the WTA event in Bringham.

French Open: Officials decide not to give former champion Maria Sharapova wildcard

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