What’s Been Happening?
On the 26th of January 2016, Maria Sharapova had a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open which came back with positive results. As a result, she was initially banned for 2 years by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) which was later reduced to 15 months.
She returned this year in April to the WTA tour and was given wild cards to compete in the Women’s Stuttgart Open, Madrid Open and Italian Open. She has successfully used those wildcard entries to get her world ranking up to a level where she can automatically enter anywhere again.
Unfortunately, she was refused a wild card into the French Open on Thursday last week. Two hours later on the same day, a left thigh injury forced her to retire early out of the Italian Open.
The French Tennis Federation president Giudicelli announced the decision was made by him as it is his “duty to protect the high standards of the tournament, the high standards of the game”. He further said that “there can be a wild card for return from injuries, (but) there cannot be a wild card from doping”.
Sharapova reacted positively to the news, despite not being given the wild card –
Wimbledon is coming up in late June and the tennis star has already made it clear that she will not be requesting for a wild card into the main draw. Some say that is because she has no chance of getting one. In any case, she is currently ranked World No.171 with 310 ranking points. Any player ranked up to 110 automatically go into the main Wimbledon draw whereas the next 88 win a place in qualifying.
Sharapova has reacted positively despite Despite not being given a French Open wildcard
Key Considerations for Sharapova:
- How quickly she can recover from her thigh injury as she has a bit over a month before Wimbledon qualifying starts on June 26.
- Unlikely but possible withdrawal from her next tournament which is immediately before Wimbledon: the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, England. The tournament starts on the 17th of June and it recently awarded her a wild card entry as well.