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Russia’s Sharapova denied wildcard for 2017 French Open as she makes global comeback

May 16, 2017, 21:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW

French Open tournament is one of the most important annual Grand Slam competitions

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Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova


MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova failed to receive a wildcard necessary for her participation at the 2017 French Open tournament, one of the most important annual Grand Slam competitions, according to the Women Tennis Association (WTA) press service.

"Maria Sharapova was not awarded wildcard to the 2017 French Open, as the full list of main draw and qualifying recipients was revealed by the Federation Francaise de Tennis (FFT) on Tuesday," the WTA said in its statement.

"The decision was announced on Facebook by FFT president Bernard Giudicelli Ferrandini, as the organization announced the full list of main draw and qualifying wildcards for the men's and women's tournament, set to begin in Paris at the end of this month," the WTA reported commenting on the possible participation of the two-time French Open champion’s participation in the tournament later this month.

After sitting out a provisional 15-month suspension, Sharapova, 30, made an impressive comeback last week at the tennis tournament in Stuttgart knocking out all of her opponents up to the semifinals.

Sharapova’s performance at the tournament in Stuttgart returned her to the WTA rankings, from which she was excluded last October.

Although having no place in the WTA rankings earlier in the year due to the previously imposed suspension, the world’s former No. 1 Sharapova was granted wildcards for tennis tournaments in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome, which raised some eyebrows in the tennis world.

The tennis player was initially set to serve a two-year suspension for violating anti-doping regulations starting January 26, 2016. However, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on October 4, 2016 to cut her suspension term from 24 to 15 months.

Early last year, Sharapova announced that doping tests revealed the presence of the banned performance enhancing drug, meldonium, in her body. Following the announcement, the tennis star was provisionally suspended from all tennis-related activities, including the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

Sharapova is Russia’s most decorated tennis player having won a total of five Grand Slam tournaments, namely the Australian Open in 2008, the French Open in 2012 and 2014, Wimbledon in 2004 and the US Open in 2006.

She also clinched the silver in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and was the 2008 Federations Cup champion.

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