WTA CEO unhappy with Sharapova's French Open snub

Doug Mendoza
May 17, 2017

Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash hopes the All England Club will "stay strong" and not offer Maria Sharapova a wildcard entry into this year's championships.

"She has complied with the sanction imposed by CAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport)".

However Sharapova, now ranked 211, had gone off for some treatment after the opening game of the third set, returning with her upper left leg strapped to hold serve, but then lacked the mobility to force home any of the four break chances in game three and so opted to retire.

She could have saved them that dilemma by reaching the semi-finals in Rome to boost her ranking but withdrew injured from her match with Lucic-Baroni to complete a bad night.

Sharapova was leading against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 4-6 6-3 2-1 during the second round tie when she made a decision to pull out of the match. "I will be getting all the necessary examinations to make sure it is not serious".

It's simply freaky. One minute, Maria Sharapova was the French Open favourite.

The 30-year-old British world number one, whose victory in Rome last year was one of nine titles he won in 2016, lost 6-2 6-4 to the world number 29.

It is worth noting, though, that the FFT have awarded a qualifying wildcard to Constant Lestienne, a French player who was banned for seven months last autumn for betting on matches.

She was then handed a 15 months ban from all form of the tennis tournament. I think it is absolutely the correct decision.

Now, the French is without Sharapova, Serena Williams (pregnancy) and Roger Federer (rest) - the three biggest stars in the game.

"I will miss the French fans, who have always been so supportive and I look forward to seeing them at Roland Garros next year".

FFT president Bernard Giudicelli hinted that the decision not to grant her a wildcard entry was due to her recent ban.

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) chose not to hand Sharapova a wildcard to "protect" the sport's standards.

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Giudicelli said he personally told Sharapova of his ruling during a phone call on Tuesday.

"The code doesn't have rules regarding wild cards". WTA CEO Steve Simon said he disagreed with the French federation's reasoning. "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".

Sharapova did not comment on Tuesday's announcement.

Shriver said Sharapova needed to come to terms with what had happened and turn her attention to preparing for Wimbledon, where the Russian is already one of the bookmakers' favourites for the title.

"I read the results of several polls and I could see that about two-thirds were in favor of Maria being granted a wild card".

"I definitely felt a little bit better... but still not close to where I would like to be, obviously". "We did not want to treat Maria Sharapova differently".

The future for Sharapova, meanwhile, remains uncertain. "It was inconceivable to take a decision that would have been the opposite of this".

211 in the world and could be ranked in the 40s if she wins Rome - a spot in the 48-woman qualification draw just seems spiteful.

Her explanation was that she had not realized it had been added to WADA's banned list a few weeks earlier.

"He also said", She might be disappointed but I need to protect the game".

Maria Sharapova, after learning she wouldn't receive a wild-card entry into the French Open, dropped out of the Italian Open with an apparent thigh injury. "After being absent from the tour for a long time, she's going to be patient, at least as much as she can, to slowly build her rankings and get back to where she has the quality to (enter tournaments directly)".

Mladenovic reached the Madrid Open final last week, but was beaten 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 by the unseeded Goerges on day two in the Eternal City.

Other reports by GizPress

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