Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Sharapova Denied Wild-Card Entry to French Open

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Sharapova Denied Wild-Card Entry to French Open

Article excerpt

MARIA Sharapova has not been handed a wild card into this year's French Open, tournament organisers have announced on Facebook.

The 30-year-old former world number one has played in three events since returning to competitive tennis following her 15-month doping suspension.

Sharapova tested positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open and her original two-year ban was reduced on appeal.

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

French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli confirmed last night that there would be no invitation for the two-time champion when announcing the wildcards for the 2017 tournament during a live Facebook broadcast.

Giudicelli is understood to have spoken to Sharapova ahead of his decision, with the Russian playing at the Italian Open in Rome, where she is set to face Croatia's Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

The FTF president said on Facebook: "I just wanted to tell you that I decided not to give to Maria Sharapova a wild card, a wild card she asked me for. …

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