Maria Sharapova’s defiant response to French Open wildcard decision

Yesterday, Sharapova exited the Rome Masters in a second round match against Croatia’s Mirjana Lučić-Baroni because of injury.

Maria Sharapova vowed to “rise up again” today after she was refused a wildcard for the French Open following her 15-month ban for doping.

She tried to put up a courageous face by tweeting a somewhat philosophical comment, insisting that “no words, games or actions will ever stop me from reaching my own dreams”. “And I have many”, she wrote.

Sharapova’s day went from bad to worse as she was forced to retire injured from her second-round clash at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, having took to the court just 30 minutes after Giudicelli’s announcement. “But it’s my responsibility, it’s my mission, to protect the game and protect the high standards of the game”. “But nevertheless Roland Garros invests a lot – along with the other Grand Slams, the ATP, and the WTA – into the fight against doping”, Giudicelli said.

“I will miss the French fans, who have always been so supportive and I look forward to seeing them at Roland Garros next year”, he said.

But Australia’s former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash congratulated the French Tennis Federation on not giving the five-time Grand Slam victor a wildcard and urged the All England Club to do the same.

Philip Brook, the Wimbledon chairman, insisted earlier this month that no decision on wild cards would be made until a meeting of the Club’s tennis sub-committee on June 20.

“What I think is still very wrong is the fact that WADA has been allowed to enforce the rule without any form of evidence or clinical testing”.

And definitely not the enormous machine behind Sharapova, led by the super-agency IMG, which has tried to pretend that she did nothing wrong.

Sharapova tested positive for heart disease drug meldonium at last year’s Australian Open.

Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) chief executive Steve Simon has criticised the decision to not award Sharapova a wildcard to the French Open.

The French Open will begin on May 28, with the qualifiers beginning from May 22.

Two-time French Open victor Sharapova was denied a wildcard, which are handed out at the discretion of tournament organisers, at Roland Garros.

Traces of banned substance meldonium were found in a sample, and she only returned to action in April this year.

“I fully support the grand-slam tournament’s decision”, Eliasch told the Times newspaper.

The Russian’s involvement in those three tournaments has seen her subsequently rise to 211 in the world rankings. The Russian beauty did well enough in the Stuttgart Open to get back into the top 200 WTA ranking and her first round win at the Italian Open was enough to get her into the qualifying round of Wimbledon.