News

Sharapova won’t request wildcard for Wimbledon main draw

Sharapova won’t request wildcard for Wimbledon main draw
Sports
Maria Sharapova will probably have to win 10 matches to claim a second Wimbledon title this year after deciding on Friday not to request a wildcard for the championships.

The 30-year-old returned from a 15-month doping ban last month and has failed to gain a high enough ranking for automatic entry into the 128-strong main draw.

Set to enter the top 200 on Monday, however, she is eligible to play in the qualifying event the week before in Roehampton, where she would need to survive three rounds just to take her place in round one at the All England Club.

Russian Sharapova, the 2004 champion and former world number one, announced the news on her website.

Because of my improved ranking after the first three tournaments of my return, I will also be playing ...in Roehampton, and will not be requesting a wildcard, said Sharapova, who has received a wildcard for the Wimbledon warmup event in Birmingham.

Sharapova could have secured a place in the Wimbledon main draw by right had she reached the semi-finals at the Italian Open in Rome, but she withdrew injured during a second round match against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

I have already started getting treatment on the injury I sustained a few days ago in Rome, and will begin my preparation as soon I get better, the five-time grand slam champion said.

Her decision takes the heat off the Wimbledon wildcard committee which meets on June 20 and could technically still offer her automatic entry into the main draw.

However, in light of the decision of French Tennis Federation (FFT) on Tuesday to snub Sharapova for a French Open wildcard, they would have been under pressure to follow suit.

Sharapova was initially banned for two years after testing positive for then newly-banned heart condition drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reduced the sanction to 15 months, saying she was not an intentional doper.

The U.S.-based player called her punishment unfairly harsh saying she had not realised meldonium, a product she had used legally for much of her career, had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list.

Her comeback has been aided by wildcards in Stuttgart, where she reached the semi-finals, Madrid and Rome.

Several players have voiced their disapproval at Sharapovas return, most noticeably Canadas Eugenie Bouchard who said Sharapova should have been banned for life, calling her a cheater. Bouchard beat Sharapova in Madrid.

Sharapova will have to break new ground if she is to win Wimbledon this year as no qualifier has won the womens singles title.

American Alexandra Stevenson came closest when she reached the semi-final in 1999 before losing to Lindsay Davenport.
Read more on Globe and Mail
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
Sports
Maria Sharapova played recently at the Italian Open, but was forced to retire due to an apparent leg injury. Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images MariaSharapovawill play in theWimbledonqualifying tournament. The 2004 champion...
Sports
Maria Sharapova, who returned to tennis last month after a 15 month doping ban, has announced she will play in the Wimbledon qualifying tournament.   ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP/Getty Images    Fri., May 19,...
World
If there can be a wildcard for the return from injuries, there cannot be a wildcard for the return from doping, said French tennis chief Bernard Giudicelli Ferrandini. The French...
Sports
Then, after defeating Mirjana Lucic Baroni in her opening match in Madrid, she came up against Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, who said Sharapova was a cheater and should be banned for life...
Sports
The Russian star, who returned to the WTA tour this spring following a suspension for performance enhancing drug use, will be playing in the Rogers Cup this summer. Since the end...