No French Open wildcard for Sharapova


Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova began the Italian Open with a win over American rival Christina McHale in the first round of the tournament.

Maria Sharapova will learn on Tuesday if she is to be given a wildcard for the French Open, with the 30-year-old having only returned from a 15-month doping ban last month.

Three tournaments into her return from a 15-month doping ban, Maria Sharapova has already gained enough rankings points to enter qualifying for Wimbledon.

Sharapova on Monday achieved a clear 6-4, 6-2 victory over McHale in one hour and 37 minutes, reports Efe.

Sharapova was recently eliminated by Canadian Eugenie Bouchard from the second round of the 2017 Madrid Open.

Sharapova was leading 4-6, 6-3, 2-1 when she called it quits after Lucic-Baroni held serve. But if there can be a wildcard for the return from injuries, then there cannot be a wildcard for the return from doping.

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As a grand slam event, the French Open is perhaps less in need of extra publicity than a regular Tour event, its sponsorship and advance ticket sales largely unaffected by the presence of an individual player.

She had taken it for medical reasons for most of her career. "I arrived last night, practiced this morning and feeling good".

Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash has congratulated the French Tennis Federation on not giving Maria Sharapova a wildcard and has urged the All England Club to do the same.

Sharapova rocked the tennis world when she announced previous year that she had tested positive for heart drug meldonium at the Australian Open after failing to realise it had been added to WADA's list of banned substances.

Sharapova faces a battle to raise her ranking enough to qualify for the grass court Grand Slam by right and spare organisers the dilemma of whether to award her a wildcard into the main draw.

Sharapova's return had divided opinion in the sport and several players had reacted angrily to the Russian being invited to those events.

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Wimbledon's chief executive, Richard Lewis, said the possibility of Sharapova's descending onto the small facility in the same year was a mere coincidence.

"We did not want to treat Maria Sharapova differently", Giudicelli said in a telephone news conference.

Even though Federer initially announced he'd play in Roland Garros without any tournament preparation, it didn't make much sense. Sam Querrey upset French 11th seed Lucas Pouille 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (10/8). "I've been saying that for years yet this is my first trip here".

The 33rd-ranked Gavrilova had to come through qualifying because she forgot to enter the main draw.

"I can't wait to be part of the first ever Laver Cup".

"I would hope they (Wimbledon) would stay strong and say "no sorry, you have got to go through and play qualifying", Cash said.

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