Sharapova says she'll 'rise up again' after French Open snub

Hazel Gray
May 18, 2017

Federation president Bernard Giudicelli announced Tuesday that Sharapova would not be invited to play this month at Roland Garros.

Paris: Maria Sharapova vowed to "rise up again" on Wednesday after she was refused a wildcard for the French Open following her 15-month ban for doping.

The FFT said it would be wrong to give a wildcard to a player whose failure to qualify for next week's tournament owed to a doping suspension rather than injury. "And I have many".

Maria Sharapova retired with injury in her second-round match in Rome, just hours after she was denied a wild card for the French Open, while defending champion Andy Murray crashed to a heavy defeat in his opener against Fabio Fognini.

The FFT were left in an unenviable position when it came to deciding whether to grant a wild card to Sharapova, but to not allow a former two-time champion the opportunity to even enter qualifying seems excessive. "But it's my responsibility, it's my mission, to protect the game and protect the high standards of the game".

Not to depend on the decision of the organizers of Roland Garros, Sharapova needed to win the tournament in Stuttgart, but titled Russian athletes lost in the semifinals and failed to gain the necessary points for getting into the qualification.

Asked Monday whether she would be disappointed not to receive a wildcard to the second grand slam of the year, Sharapova told reporters: "Nothing is a disappointment after being away from the game for 15 months".

Whilst acknowledging that wildcards were granted at a tournament's discretion, Simon said: "What I do not agree with is the basis put forward by the FFT for their decision with respect to Maria Sharapova".

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Andy Murray is going to the French Open with his game in tatters.

Cash said he was disappointed the Italian federation had offered up a wildcard this week but hoped there'd be no such offer from Wimbledon officials.

But Simon said: "She has complied with the sanction imposed by CAS".

"I appreciate the media impact of Maria, I appreciate the broadcasters' expectations but in conscience, it was not possible to go beyond the anti-doping code and beyond the application of the rules..." "There are no grounds for any member of the (tennis anti-doping program) to penalize any player beyond the sanctions set forth in the final decision resolving these matters".

But Sharapova, a two-time victor at Roland Garros, probably knows it better than anyone else that her dreams of making a strong comeback will take a lot to realise.

"But while there can be a wild card for return from injury, there can't be a wild card for return from doping".

Wimbledon chiefs have until 20 June - 13 days before the tournament begins - to decide whether to hand Sharapova a wild card, although she may have another route via the qualifying competition.

Other reports by VgToday

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