No French Open wild card for Maria Sharapova

Paris - The head of women's tennis on Wednesday attacked the French tennis federation's refusal to grant Maria Sharapova a wild card for the French Open as "groundless".

Giudicelli continued: "Today this (doping) suspension is over and she can take her path towards the new success, but if there can be a wild card for return from injuries then there cannot be a wild card for return from doping".

"I decided not to give Maria Sharapova a wildcard", Giudicelli said, announcing the decision via a Facebook Live broadcast.

"I've been working really hard, both on and off the court, during the last month", Federer wrote, "but in order to try and play on the ATP World Tour for many years to come, I feel it's best to skip the clay court season this year".

Roger Federer has received backing from a number of former players after he made a decision to preserve his fitness for the grass court and hard court events and skip the entire clay court swing of the season including the French Open.

Her ranking rose enough during her return that she can participate in qualifying for the next major tournament, Wimbledon.

Sharapova rocked the tennis world when she announced previous year that she had tested positive for heart drug meldonium at the Australian Open after failing to realise it had been added to WADA's list of banned substances.

"The fact that there isn't a rule on people who failed doping tests, and whether or not they can get a wild card, whether or not they should, it's a very odd thing", Lucic-Baroni said, "because we are professional, and that should be in place".

She was originally suspended by the International Tennis Federation for two years, but had the sentence reduced to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

However, the Russian was not able to acquire enough ranking points to secure an automatic place in qualifying for Roland Garros.

Asked Monday whether she would be disappointed not to receive a wildcard to the second grand slam of the year, she told reporters, "Nothing is a disappointment after being away from the game for 15 months".

Sharapova isn't owed anything by the French Open, the same way she wasn't owed a wildcard by the four tournaments that have already given her one - Stuttgart, Madrid, Rome and Birmingham.

"I feel sorry for Maria Sharapova". We must respect the spirit of fair play.

"While there can be a wild card for return from injury, there can't be a wild card for return from doping", Giudicelli said.

"They might be very disappointed, she might be very disappointed. but it's my mission to protect the game and to protect the high standards of (the) game played without any doubts on the result".

If no wild card is awarded, the 30-year-old would need to negotiate her way through qualifying at Roehampton. Unfortunately, its (a) Grand Slam, which is, for sure, for her, a big one.”.

Defending champion Andy Murray (left) was knocked out of the Italian Open in the second round last night by Italian Fabio Fognini. Despite recurrent injuries and fatigue past year, Federer still managed to reach the semi-finals - and put up a solid fight before his eventual loss to Canadian ace Milos Raonic.

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