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Sharapova’s critics jealous ‘journeymen’: agent

Maria Sharapova.   | Photo Credit: AP

Maria Sharapova’s agent has said that people criticising her for possibly receiving a wild card into the French Open, just want to keep another title threat out of Roland Garros.

Sharapova, who was handed a 15-month suspension after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, will make her return to competitive tennis at the Stuttgart Open on April 26. Stuttgart offered Sharapova a wild card entry because she no longer has a world ranking — a move that angered some players.

Meanwhile, the five-time Grand Slam champion has also been handed wild cards for Madrid (May 7 to 13) and Rome (May 15 to 21) tournaments. Whether Sharapova will receive a wild card at Roland Garros will be known just a week before qualifying begins for the second Major of the season, which is slated from May 28 to June 11.

Angered with Sharapova receiving the wild card entries, Agnieszka Radwanska told the local media that she feels the Russian should not receive wild card entries for Grand Slams. Caroline Wozniacki had also criticised Sharapova’s easy return to the big events, saying: “I think it’s very questionable, allowing a player that is still banned to play that week. I think it’s disrespectful to other players and the WTA,” she had said in March.

“All those are ‘journeymen’ players like Radwanska and Wozniacki who have never won a Slam and the next generation passing them. They are smart to try to keep Maria out of Paris,” Sport24 quoted Eisenbud as saying in response to the critics. “No Serena, No Maria, No Vika, No Petra, it’s their last chance to win a Slam,” he added while acknowledging the fact that pregnant Serena Williams, Czech Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, expected to return in July after having a baby, and are thus not going to be participating in the tournament.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 9:43:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/those-criticising-sharapovas-wildcard-return-are-jealous-journeymen-says-agent/article18191471.ece

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