Maria Sharapova denied wildcard entry to French Open, while Italian Open retirement puts Wimbledon participation in doubt

Ross McLean
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Sharapova has won Roland Garros twice (Source: Getty)

Former world No1 Maria Sharapova will have to wait for a return to grand slam action after tennis chiefs denied the two-time champion a wildcard entry to the French Open.

Sharapova has not accrued enough ranking points to qualify for the main draw of this year’s tournament, which begins on 28 May, or qualifying following her 15-month drugs ban.

“If there can be a wildcard for the return from injuries, there cannot be a wildcard for the return from doping,” said French Tennis Federation chief Bernard Giudicelli Ferrandini. “I’m very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans.

“They might be very disappointed, she might be very disappointed, but it’s my responsibility, my mission, to protect the high standards of the game played without any doubt on the result.”

The 30-year-old served a suspension after testing positive for banned substance meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

A bad day worsened as Sharapova retired injured from her Italianā€ˆOpen clash with Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, meaning she will require a wildcard to play at Wimbledon.

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