Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Maria Sharapova may not be invited to French Open

Maria Sharapova may not be invited to French Open

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, had an initial two-year suspension by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) reduced to 15 months after she tested positive at the 2016 Australian Open for meldonium.

Maria Sharapova is unconcerned by criticism from her rivals as she prepares to return next week in Stuttgart following her 15-month doping ban.

"Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are two unconnected cases". That's a odd situation, meaning that Sharapova won't be able to enter the tournament's site only until two days later when her ban finally expires.

Former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki said the Stuttgart tournament's decision to grant Sharapova a wildcard is "disrespectful to other players and the WTA".

Williams, who has won a record 23 Grand Slam singles titles in the Open era, has not been in action since January's Australian Open final win over sister Venus. After playing for Great Britain in the Fed Cup World Group II play-offs in Romania this weekend, she will head to Germany for one of the most eagerly anticipated WTA tournaments in some time.

The two-time Australian Open champion gave birth to son, Leo, shortly before Christmas past year, and her absence has seen her ranking plummet into the 300s.

Sharapova admitted taking meldonium, insisting her only mistake was not realising the drug had been added to the banned list at the start of 2016.

Williams revealed that she was 20 weeks pregnant via social media app Snapchat before a spokesperson subsequently confirmed the story.

Three years later, the Russian would complete her career Grand Slam at Roland Garros, regain the world number one ranking for a brief period of time and win the Silver Medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Serena will have to take time off from the sport, which she has rarely done since turning pro.

We will all wait in anticipation as her comeback begins in earnest in Stuttgart next week.

Like this: