Sharapova to plead for French Open wild card


Many people feel Sharapova should have to earn her way back, and World No. 1 Andy Murray agrees.

Five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova, the victor at Roland Garros in 2012 and 2014, has already been handed wild cards into the Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome tournaments with organisers fully aware of the former world number one's vast pulling power.

"We officially announce the Wild Card for the 3 times Rome's Champion Maria Sharapova into the main draw of the 2017 tournament", the organizers stated in their Twitter account.

That Sharapova is the latest tennis player to be welcomed back with open arms after committing a doping violation does not sit well with some within the sport.

"If they think having big names there is going to sell more seats, then they're going to do that".

Bernard Giudicelli, the recently-elected president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), has said Maria Sharapova may not be given a wild card to play at the French Open this year, potentially her first Grand Slam after serving an anti-doping ban.

In a conversation with a French journalist via Facebook Live, Giudicelli said the decision was yet to be made on whether Sharapova would be given a wild card for the French Open.

Earlier on Thursday, Giudicelli had said the organization has not determined whether to give the Russian player a wild card which she would require as her world ranking has nearly disappeared during her absence. "Integrity is one of our strong points".

The cut-off for French Open qualifying falls just after the Stuttgart tournament but before Madrid (May 7-13) and Rome (May 15-21).

'We can not decide, on the one hand, to increase the amount of funds we dedicate to the anti-doping battle and, on the other, invite her'.

"We're going to meet her (Sharapova), listen to her arguments and then talk it over with Guy (Forget, tournament director) and we'll make a decision", Sport24 quoted Giudicelli as saying.

For Wimbledon (July 3-16), the 2004 victor might actually make it into the event if she captures enough points in Stuttgart, Madrid, and Rome.