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       Sharapova vows to 'rise again' after French Open snub
 
         Posted on :20:41:08 May 17, 2017
   
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       Last edited on:20:41:08 May 17, 2017
         Tags: Sharapova, French Open snub
 
PARIS: 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.
 
The Russian former world number one also earned the backing of the head of women's tennis, a day after the French tennis federation's announcement that it would not grant her a wildcard for the event she won in 2012 and 2014.
 
"If this is what it takes to rise up again, then I am in it all the way, everyday," Sharapova wrote on Twitter, in her first remarks on her snub.
 
"No words, games, or actions will ever stop me from reaching my own dreams. And I have many."
 
The five-time Grand Slam champion, 30, was banned for two years for using meldonium, with the penalty later reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which ruled she was not an intentional doper.
 
After the ban expired on April 26 she returned to competition at the Stuttgart Open, reaching the semi-finals, and progressed to the last 32 of the Madrid Open, failing to earn a qualifying spot for Roland Garros, the second Grand Slam of the season and which starts later this month.
 
Many of Sharapova's rivals have hit out at other tournaments giving her preferential treatment, but WTA chief executive Steve Simon called the actions of the French federation (FFT) "groundless", in a strongly worded statement backing her.
 
Whilst acknowledging that wildcards were granted at a tournament's discretion, Simon said: "What I do not agree with is the basis put forward by the FFT for their decision with respect to Maria Sharapova."
 
Announcing the FFT's decision on Tuesday, president Bernard Giudicelli said giving Sharapova a wildcard would make a nonsense of tennis authorities' ramped-up efforts against doping.
 
But Simon said: "She has complied with the sanction imposed by CAS. The tennis anti-doping program (TADP) is a uniform effort supported by the Grand Slams, WTA, ITF and ATP.
 
"There are no grounds for any member of the TADP to penalise any player beyond the sanctions set forth in the final decisions resolving these matters."
 
Sharapova is guaranteed a qualifying spot at Wimbledon in July after winning her opening match at the ongoing Rome Masters, although she missed a chance at direct entrance into the main draw after a second-round exit on Tuesday.
 
Sharapova, whose ranking has plummeted to 211 leaving her reliant on wildcards, could have earned her spot at Wimbledon by reaching the semi-finals in Italy but retired against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the final set with a thigh injury.
 
The Russian issued a statement afterwards that failed to address the French Open and said merely that she hoped her injury "is not serious".
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       SPORTS
Next Article: Pakistan win thriller for first Windies series victory
 
 
SPORTS HEADLINES
India gets WTA event after five years, 'Mumbai Open' in November  
India gets WTA event after 5 years, 'Mumbai Open' in November  
Aussie tennis great Mervyn Rose dies  
Mithali named captain of ICC Women's World Cup team  
India finish 7th in Youth CWG with 11 medals  
Time right for Women's IPL: Mithali Raj  
ICC Women World Cup final: India lose by 9 runs  
ICC Women's World Cup final: India need 229 runs to create history  
ICC Women's World Cup final: England elect to bat  
BCCI to reward Rs 50 lakh each to Mithali & Co.  
Vardhan bags 2nd Challenger title, defeat for 4 others  
Eyeing spot in British Open, Aditi adds solid 68 to lie sixth  
WBBL stint has transformed Harmanpreet: Mithali  
Rahul, Arjun-Shlok enter semis of Russian Grand Prix  
I wanted to prove myself, says Harmanpreet  
'Harmanpreet bats like Sehwag, aggressive like Kohli'  
Women’s Cricket World Cup: Mithali Raj-led India ready for final vs England  
Manpreet in dope net again, to miss World Championships  
Rain delays start of India-Australia World Cup semifinals  
India U-23 lose to Syria U-23 in AFC Qualifying opener  
Chennai Open likely to move to Pune from next year  
Shastri wants Sachin on board but conflict of interest rule applies  
Chennai Open likely to move to Pune from next year  
Shastri has his way, Arun back as bowling coach  
Dhawan to replace injured Vijay for Lanka Tour  
 
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