Maria Sharapova earns ticket to Wimbledon qualifying event

Maria Sharapova earns ticket to Wimbledon qualifying event

Sharapova returned last month following a 15-month ban for testing positive for the banned heart drug meldonium at last year's Australian Open.

"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.

Sharapova will also wait on the French Federation Tennis' decision on whether the former two-time French Open victor will get a wildcard into the main draw or qualifying.

"I have had to face a lot of, as you say, distractions or opinions or judgment since I was 17 years old", said Sharapova.

Eighteen-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has announced he will not participate in the French Open.

The Russian has used wild cards to enter all three of her tournaments since her return.

He said " there can be a wildcard for the return from injuries - there cannot be a wildcard for the return from doping.

Maybe they should give a wild card to Lance Armstrong, too? At the time, WTA CEO Steve Simon told German broadcaster ZDF she had paid the price.

Sharapova did not comment on Tuesday's announcement. But the rhythm steadied as the experienced Sharapova pegged back her opponent and got to work to sweep the first set from the back foot.

World number one Murray's Rome Masters title defence then ended worringly early as he was comfortably beaten 6-2, 6-4 by local favourite Fognini after a first-round bye.

Giudicelli acknowledged that plenty of fans would have wanted to see Sharapova play in Paris, where the French Open starts May 28.

"I know the media dimension Maria has. But once I did, I felt like I took care of the second set quite well".

Tennis player Maria Sharapova in pictures. It was inconceivable to take a decision that would have been the opposite of this.

FRENCH Open organizers are bracing for controversy ahead of their decision on whether to grant Maria Sharapova a wildcard for Roland Garros.

Sharapova was leading 4-6, 6-3, 2-1 when she called it quits after Lucic-Baroni held serve.

She had hoped for a favour from the French Tennis Federation (FFT) because her ranking, now 211, does not warrant an automatic place.

She was initially banned for two years but the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced the suspension to 15 months on appeal after finding she was not an "intentional doper". Sharapova had been taking meldonium for many years, but overlooked announcements by WADA that it added the drug to its banned list on January 1, 2016.

The drug was only banned at the beginning of 2016 but Sharapova said she had been taking it for over 10 years as she was magnesium deficient and had recorded several irregular electrocardiography (EKG) tests.

"We have made a decision on all the other wildcards, for Maria it's a question mark. I will be focused on my match", Sharapova said, adding that she would accept a qualifying wildcard.

This approach has led to criticism from those who think Sharapova should have to regain her ranking points before being allocated spots in major tournaments.

The Croatian has been really impressive, but a cause for concern for her will be the fact that she already lost to Sharapova this year at the Madrid Open. She was a past champion at all three. She plays her second-round match in Rome on Tuesday. Sharapova beat the Croat in three last week in Madrid. She was joined by double Grand Slam victor Svetlana Kuznetsova as the seventh seed beat Katerina Siniakova 6-1, 7-6 (7/3).

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