Maria Sharapova's popularity doesn't earn a French Open wild card


Sharapova, who was also denied a wild-card entry to the French Open's qualifying tournament, has not publicly commented on the news. Sharapova, ranked No. 211 in the world now, still does not have a ranking high enough to gain entry to the qualifying event.

The 30-year-old, who conquered all on the Parisian clay in 2012 and 2014 but whose career was rocked by a 15-month doping ban last year, was widely expected to be fast-tracked into the year's second grand slam tournament.

"I know it does seem very convenient timing, but it is actually unrelated, genuinely unrelated, and we know that qualifying needs to continue to be improved, just like we improve facilities here at the Championships", he said. “But its my responsibility, its my mission to protect the game and protect the high standards of the game.”.

Sharapova, banned after testing positive for heart drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, has had mixed results since re-joining the WTA Tour.

The five-time Grand Slam champion, who is coming back onto the WTA after completing a 15-month doping ban, advanced to the second round at the sun-drenched Foro Italico as she beat McHale for a fifth time in a row.

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At least Sharapova is guaranteed a place in the Wimbledon qualifying event thanks to her first-round win on Monday.

In Rome, Maria Sharapova went on an adventure to the Colosseum for an incredible photo-op, and a stage for some dancing (if you follow her on Instagram, you caught it).

Eugenie Bouchard recently beat Sharapova shortly after voicing her displeasure at the Russian being allowed to play at the top tournaments.

The five-time Grand Slam victor will play the second round against Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who defeated Czech Lucie Safarova earlier on Monday.

Former world number one Martina Navratilova said this month that Sharapova should now be allowed to get on with her tennis and as a two-time champion in Paris could justifiably be given a wildcard into the main draw.

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Roger Federer withdrew from the upcoming French Open on Monday, a healthy scratch created to maximize the all-time Grand Slam champion's chances on his favored two surfaces - grass and hard court - this summer. "She is a great person, a great player, a great champion, but this is my opinion".

Regrettably, I've decided not to participate in the French Open.

A decision as to whether she is granted a main draw spot will be taken on June 20.

Qualifiers take place at the Bank of England Sports Grounds in Roehampton, with tickets introduced for this year's event. She also reached the semi-finals of the Mexican Open and Charleston Open and suffered a quarter-final exit at the Indian Wells.

She is now back in professional action although her lack of ranking points means she is relying on wildcards to get into tennis' biggest tournaments.

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"Some say she shouldn't get it, others say she served her time", Forget told BBC Sport.