Maria Sharapova might not be offered French Open wildcard

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Maria Sharapova might not be offered French Open wildcard

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SportsCafe Desk

03/03/2017

Just when it looked like Maria Sharapova's problems were ending, there is a new twist in the tale as the French Tennis Federation (FFT) has said that her wildcard entry to Rolland Garros was not confirmed. The 29-year-old is currently serving a 15-month ban for using prohibited substance meldonium.

The Russian will make her return to the court in Stuttgart on April 26, where she has been offered a wildcard entry, exactly 15-months after she was suspended for testing positive for meldonium.

However, the FFT and president Bernard Giudicelli confirmed that they were still undecided on offering the two-time French Open Champion a wildcard entry into the second major of the year.

"It's complicated. We prefer that she returns completely rehabilitated. Integrity is one of our strong points. We cannot decide, on the one hand, to increase the amount of funds we dedicate to the anti-doping battle and, on the other, invite her," Giudicelli explained the reason for the hesitancy in offering the Russian an easy route into the tournament.

Sharapova has already been handed wildcards to Stuttgart, Madrid, and Rome. Having not played for over a year, Sharapova's ranking has dropped drastically and she cannot make it to the final roster for the Open unless she is offered a wildcard. There is, however, another way as well. The Russian star would have to try her luck in the qualifying tournament held in Paris a week preceding the main draw.

However, that dream can only be met if she builds up her ranking points by winning the Stuttgart title.

Andy Murray has been very vocal about offering players returning from doping bans wildcards. In Sharapova's case, the Briton said that she could accumulate sufficient points before the Wimbledon and wouldn't need to depend on wildcards.

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