Sharapova vows to 'rise up again' after French Open snub

Lynette Rowe
May 20, 2017

On Tuesday, FTF president Bernard Giudicelli explained over a live Facebook broadcast his reasoning for not granting Sharapova a wild card, saying it was to "protect the game".

"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".

Sharapova, who won Wimbledon in 2004, will need a wild card to get straight into the main draw at the All England Club.

"It was a little bit of a slower start, Bedene is the kind of player that gives you good rhythm".

"I fully support the grand-slam tournament's decision", Eliasch told the Times newspaper.

Maria Sharapova of Russian Federation serves to Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands during their singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Wednesday July 1.

"I think we were all on the same wavelength", he said.

"I am a bit disappointed that the Italian federation haven't done the same thing by giving her a wildcard here in Rome this week, even though she didn't get through".

"She has complied with the sanction imposed by CAS", he said. The French Open begins May 28.

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Despite the opposition of some players, Sharapova has received wild-card entries into the main draw of regular tour events in Stuttgart, Germany; Madrid; and Rome.

A tournament may grant a wild card to any eligible player.

Giudicelli, who announced the French Open wild cards on Facebook Live, said the decision to deny Sharapova a place in the tournament had been a hard one.

"Must be tough for her, but it's the way it is", Novak Djokovic said at the Italian Open, where Sharapova exited with an apparent thigh injury Tuesday.

Sharapova has competed at three events since returning to competitive tennis following her 15-month suspension for testing positive for meldonium, a sanction that was reduced from two years by the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS). If Sharapova also wants to play the week before, she has Nottingham and the Dutch town of Rosmalen to choose between.

“I read the results of several polls and I could see that about two-thirds were in favour of Maria being granted a wild card. "Of course I felt some pressure", he said.

"I know that a lot of people might be disappointed by this decision", he said. However, the Russian superstar was not able to garner enough points to earn a direct qualification for this year's Roland Garros, starting 22 May.

Nadal suggested that the decision was made well ahead of its announcement and would have been taken as a strategy move by the 35-year-old's coaching team.

But the two-time French Open champion was not given an entry to the Roland Garros competition this week, a decision Johan Eliasch, chief executive of tennis racket firm Head, has surprisingly got behind.

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