Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Sharapova: 'I will rise up again'


After she was rejected for even a qualifying wildcard at the French Open, former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova has reacted, albeit subtly, against the organizers, taking to her Twitter to post a message soon after the rejection.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam victor, made her return to competition in April at the Stuttgart Open in April after a 15-month ban over a positive test for the angina drug meldonium.

"Must be tough for her, but it's the way it is", Novak Djokovic said at the Italian Open, where Sharapova exited with an apparent thigh injury Tuesday. "It's going to be a very exciting fortnight at Roland Garros", Simon said in a statement.

"I don't agree with the basis for their decision", said WTA chief executive Steve Simon. And if her Wednesday tweet says anything, this is far from the end for her.

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"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".

The Facebook Live announcement, shortly before Maria Sharapova's scheduled second round match against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, announced in French the main draw and qualification of the men's and women's competition. No-one will ever be able to take away the two titles which you won here at Roland-Garros, because you won them according to the rules, owing nothing to anyone.

Given professional tennis's lax approach to anti-doping measures compared to many other sports, it is clear an example is being made of Sharapova - a player who has officially been cleared of intentional doping. Perhaps it was too soon after Sharapova's return for the FFT to risk the backlash of granting her a wild card?

While it is admirable for a sport's governing body to stand by their "integrity" - as the FFT said in their statement - to suggest Sharapova's presence in the French Open would damage that would be vastly exaggerated.

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Sharapova returned to tennis with the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, progressing to the semi-finals of the tournament before an eventual loss to Kristina Mladenovic of France; she needed to progress to the finals at minimum to make up rankings.

For the moment the one certainty is that Sharapova hasn't earned automatic entry into the main draw at Wimbledon.

Her finishes there weren't enough to qualify her, so it was up to the French Tennis Federation to grant her a wild-card berth.

"I know the media dimension of Maria and I'm measuring the expectations of the public and sponsors, but in all conscience it didn't appear possible to me to go beyond the strict application of the world anti-doping code".

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"She's smart and savvy", Shriver, who won 21 grand slam women's doubles titles, said on ESPN.

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