Tennis

Decision on Sharapova’s wild card on May 15

Maria Sharapova will learn on May 15 whether she can compete at the French Open after her drugs ban, French tennis officials said on Thursday, insisting the absence of pregnant Serena Williams would have no bearing on their decision.

Two-time Roland Garros champion Sharapova controversially returns next week from a 15-month drugs ban at the WTA Stuttgart Grand Prix.

Stuttgart offered the 30-year-old Russian a wild card entry because she no longer has a world ranking, a move that angered some players. Sharapova has also been invited to clay-court events in Madrid and Rome.

Whether she receives a wild card for Roland Garros will be revealed just a week before qualifying begins for the May 28-June 11 Grand Slam.

French Tennis Federation (FTF) president Bernard Giudicelli said last month they faced a moral dilemma and hinted he was against it.

If Sharapova misses out, the French Open will go ahead in the absence of the two biggest drawcards in the women’s game.

“Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are two unconnected cases,” said Giudicelli. “We’re staging a Grand Slam, not a casting.”

If the FTF decides not to offer Sharapova a wildcard, she still has a chance of making Roland Garros via the qualifiers, but for that route she must pick up enough points by winning or possibly even making the final in Stuttgart.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 10:00:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/decision-on-sharapovas-wild-card-on-may-15/article18159787.ece

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