Maria Sharapova Shut Down! French Open Denies Former Champ Entry Into Event
by Staff | May 16th, 2017, 3:50 pm
  • 35 Comments

In a stunning move, the French Open not only denied Maria Sharapova request for a main draw wildcard, but also a qualifying spot. That leaves Sharapova out of the French Open, an event she twice won.

French tennis federation president Bernard Giudicelli made the announcement earlier today on Facebook.

“I decided not to give Maria Sharapova a wild card. I’m very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans. They might be disappointed, she might be very disappointed,” said Giudicelli. “But it’s my responsibility, it’s my mission to protect the game and protect the high standards of the game.

“While it’s true that the CAS has reduced her sanction, it is still a violation of the tennis antidoping program,” Giudicelli said. “CAS reduced her sanction but also recognized that Maria was the only one responsible for her misfortune. It is not for me today to question that decision. I respect and we should respect the decision that was first taken by the International Tennis Federation’s independent tribunal and then considered on appeal by CAS.

“This suspension is over and she can take her path toward new success,” Giudicelli added. “But while there can be a wild card for return from injury, there can’t be a wild card for return from doping.”

The decision was surely met with a quiet glee in the women’s locker room which was decidedly against Sharapova since her return from a 15-month doping ban. But it remains to be seen if Wimbledon will now be pressured to follow suit. Sharapova had received wildcards from Stuttgart, Madrid and this week Rome.

Before the decision, Sharapova was actually the betting favorite to win the French Open. Now, she can’t even play qualifying because her ranking wasn’t high enough for entry.

Adding injury to insult, Sharapova lost today in Rome falling to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 4-6, 6-3, 2-1 by retirement due to a leg issue.

She’ll now have a month to rest and recover before the Wimbledon where she’s at least in the qualifying based on her Monday ranking.

Without Sharapova (and Serena Williams), the French Open will only have three former champions in the main draw: Svetlana Kuznetsova, Francesca Schiavone and Garbine Muguruza.


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35 Comments for Maria Sharapova Shut Down! French Open Denies Former Champ Entry Into Event

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Huge opportunity for some ladies to make a name for themselves.


Truthsquad Says:

Halep or Pliskova should be the favorites now, but this feels like one of those years where a “one and done” dark horse emerges as the French Open winner, perhaps Mladenovic, or Svitolina.


gonzalowski Says:

Maybe Politics have influence in such decisions??? Western countries are willing to f*** Russia… or provoke him.


skeezer Says:

^wha..?


henry Says:

The ONLY correct decision. Finally a tournament that has the guts to not do any favors and hand a fast-track return to the rankings on a silver platter.

Sharapova, “the betting favorite to win Roland Garros”…? I suppose tat’s why they’re in the ‘betting’ business. From what we’ve seen so far, she wouldn’t even make it to the second week.


Wog Boy Says:

Sleazy Frenchies, sorry mat4.


skeezer Says:

It’s everyone else fault that Maria is dealing with this(including the “western” countries, lol) right? Not.
“But while there can be a wild card for return from injury, there can’t be a wild card for return from doping.”
Bada Boom.


Leo Says:

So glad the French Tennis Federation is standing up “to protect the game and protect the high standards of the game”

They had me fooled till I saw this guy got a WC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constant_Lestienne


skeezer Says:

^uh ok. What does this have to do with Maria?


Raj Says:

No worries Maria…You will win a slam again..


Danica Says:

Justin Gimestolb on Tennis Channel was pissed (pardonez my Francais). He clearly stated that this was political decision by a guy who just became the president of whatever French tennis… and that by doing this, he wanted to show that they “care” about the sport and the tournament. Right.

I happen to agree with Justin.


Willow Says:

Agree with Henry, but only the first sentence, not the second, shes paid for what shes done and i get that, but i think she should be made to start at the bottom and work her way back up, which she will as the game and tenacity is still there, but whether or not shes the most marketed player on the WTA is niether here nor there IMO, we are talking about the integrity of the sport, and what does it say if shes given preferential treatment on her return to the tour ….


gonzalowski Says:

Just checked Maria’s twitter… there is a nice tour by the Colisseum at Rome; nice, but it lacks little to be ridiculous


Willow Says:

Gonzalowski i love your posts, they make me laugh sometimes, and you dont take any prisoners ….


Wog Boy Says:

WTA CEO Steve Simon came out to defend Maria and criticized FO decision in very blatant words for not giving WC to her, I think FO dude bite off more than he can chew, he might rethink his decision.


gonzalowski Says:

:) thanks willow. Maybe it’s the middle age crisis ;)


Wog Boy Says:

Very wise and fair words from the CEO, for a different of some lousy haters on this thread. Try to find english version since it was for BBC, I have Serbian translation:

http://www.rts.rs/page/sport/sr/story/38/tenis/2737259/vta-sarapova-odradila-kaznu-i-zasluzila-vajld-kard-.html


Willow Says:

Not only that it wouldnt be fair to the other players that did have to earn their way into the main draw, if she was given special treatment, they have to do it the hard way, so why shouldnt she ? ….


Willow Says:

Im not a hater, and its funny how that cliche always pops up, i just believe everyone should be treated fairly ….


Wog Boy Says:

I guess WTA CEO is more qualified and knows better why they should give her WC, than some Slimy, “Nothing against Nole..but” and the rest of haters.


Willow Says:

No reasoning with some people as they just dont listen, or want to listen ….


Willow Says:

Shouldve said treated equally not fairly although both apply ….


Markus Says:

I’m happy that cheaters like Maria are not allowed back easily into the game. She has a lot of backing from her rich sponsors and they are good in tricking people into taking Maria’s side. They have easily lead people into their trap but luckily, there are people who cannot be tricked into it.


Markus Says:

The WTA CEO have yielded to the pressure from Maria’s rich corporate sponsors. That guy has no principle and no balls. If you want a clean sport, you should do all you can to make it happen. Turning your head because it involves your cash cow is contrary to that.


Willow Says:

Markus nice to get a sensible post from a male POV, its difficult when your a woman, as you get called a hater, jealous of her looks etc, its a silly basis for an argument i mean give me a break, all people ask is for all players to be treated equally ….


Markus Says:

Agree with you Willow. This is not directed only at Maria. I would say the same thing if it were somebody else. There should be zero tolerance when it comes to PEDs.


Willow Says:

Me too Markus me too thankyou ….


Markus Says:

Maria’s defenders (including that spineless corporate yielding WTA CEO) give the excuse that she has served her time and now should get wildcards to any and all events. That’s absurd. Her ranking dropped and that’s part of the punishment. She has to work her way up from there. No freebies for anybody who violates the rules imposed by the sport they play.


Willow Says:

Word :-) ….


henry Says:

Willow and Markus, I’m with you 100%, especially about the “no balls WTA CEO” and zero PEDs tolerance. It’s incredible to see both here and on other sites/threads how people like to use different criteria when it comes to ‘their’ player:
“She’s been punished, why should she keep on being punished?” and “She’s done her time, why punish her even more” are the most ridiculous arguments flying around.
Yes, she’s done “her time” and now she’s allowed back but ‘her side’ wants to take it for granted that there’s not only an ‘open arms’ welcome but also demands an unfair fast-track to move up in the rankings. Those that don’t agree with this view are labeled ‘haters’ and ‘punishers’ whereas all we want is fair and equal treatment.


skeezer Says:

The whole idea behind the penalty is not just suspension, but you also have to earn your way back “clean”. Just doing your time and then feel you deserve a short cut into a tournament is not fair to the other players.
Delpo went through this very thing ( but was due to injury, not otherwise ) and was duly given wildcards. Why? He was coming off a big wrist injury. Big difference.

What I clearly don’t understand is why they are not letting her enter at all? She should be allowed to enter the qualifying tournament, no?


Leo Says:

@skeezer – This guy coming from a suspension for betting got a wild card into FO qualies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constant_Lestienne

Their argument “to protect the game and protect the high standards of the game” seems to fly in the face of that evidence.

Tournament directors can give WC as they please. I just don’t think the FO decision has anything to do with moral high ground – as they seem to claim.


skeezer Says:

leo,
You have to put it in a better perspective. PED’s are claimed to enhanced ones performance on the court. Does betting do that?


Leo Says:

@skeezer – Betting and PED have both one thing in common. They undermine the integrity of the sport.

If FFT really is interested “to protect the game and protect the high standards of the game” they’ve missed that boat.

They seem more interested in humiliating Maria. Their hiding behind the moral high ground seems disingenuous.

Jon Wertheim on CNNSI reports that the FFT has even extend a WC to Strasbourg. https://www.si.com/tennis/2017/05/17/mailbag-roger-federer-french-open-maria-sharapova-wildcard

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