Maria Sharapova retired from her Italian Open match citing an apparent left thigh injury hours after learning she would not be granted a wild card into the French Open.
‘No words, games or actions will ever stop me from reaching my own dreams.
It meant she needed a favor from the French Tennis Federation (FFT) but in an unexpected development, especially as the French Open is already without pregnant Serena Williams and resting Roger Federer, it took a moral stand that will please some of her rivals but could hit the tournament’s ratings.
‘There can be a wildcard for the return of injuries – there cannot be a wildcard for the return from doping, ‘ FFT chief Bernard Giudicelli Ferrandini said.
“I know the media dimension of Maria and I’m measuring the expectations of the public and sponsors, but in all conscience it didn’t appear possible to me to go beyond the strict application of the world anti-doping code”. The Lawn Tennis Association Chief Executive Michael Downey admitted ‘this wasn’t a decision we took lightly and we recognise not everyone will agree with it, however Maria has served her ban in full and is now back playing high quality tennis.
The Russian, a two-time champion at Roland Garros, was informed that her request for entry into the forthcoming grand slam following her recent return from a drugs ban had been rejected on Tuesday.
Italian Open organizers were the first to offer Sharapova a wild card, and they were criticized for not giving one to former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, an Italian. 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.
The Russian has accepted wild cards to enter all three of her tournaments since her return, attracting criticism from many players.
“I decided not to give Maria Sharapova a wild card. She has complied with the sanction imposed by CAS”, Simon said, as quoted by The New Paper. But nevertheless Roland Garros invests a lot – along with the other Grand Slams, the ATP, and the WTA – into the fight against doping.
While this ended her hopes of qualifying on merit for Wimbledon’s main draw, a decision on whether she is granted a main draw spot will be taken on June 20, according to reports.
“There are no grounds for any member of the TADP to penalise any player beyond the sanctions set forth in the final decisions resolving these matters”.
The French Open starts on Monday. I read very carefully articles 100 and 101 of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which reduced the length of your ban.