Sharapova's popularity doesn't earn a French Open wild card — Sports Briefly

If she were to win one of those events that would undoubtedly strengthen her case.

"While there can be a wildcard for return from injury, there can't be a wildcard for return from doping", he said.

"As you talk with players, it's very controversial".

"I fully support the grand-slam tournament's decision", Eliasch told the Times newspaper.

"I think we were all on the same wavelength", he said.

Italian Open organizers were the first to offer Sharapova a wild card, and they were criticized for not giving one to former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, an Italian.

“Im very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans.

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) chose not to hand Sharapova a wildcard to "protect" the sport's standards.

"Must be tough for her, but it's the way it is", Novak Djokovic said after he overcame a challenging first set to beat British qualifier Aljaz Bedene 7-6 (2), 6-2 in his opening match at the Foro Italico.

Federer lifted the trophy only once, in 2009, in the French Open, which took up the least part for his total of 18 Grand Slam titles.

"In some tournaments she's going to get that help in wild card and invitation; some not".

FFT president Bernard Giudicelli made the announcement on Tuesday, saying: "There can be a wildcard for return from injuries; there cannot be a wildcard for return from doping".

With both high profile WTA and ATP players are at the tournament it seems likely that several players will have an opportunity to express their opinions on both Sharapova's snub and Simon's comments, though it seems likely that Simon's comments will be criticized by many female players.

"The code doesn't have rules regarding wild cards".

"I definitely felt a little bit better".

Federer, who owns five USA and Australian Open crowns and seven Wimbledon titles, has won the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami this season since coming back from a six-month injury lay-off.

Sharapova is also on the verge of losing the spot in Wimbledon as the main draw is on Monday and she needs a minimum semi-final run in the Rome this week if she wants a spot in the main draw.

The Florida-based Russian won the last of her five grand slams in Paris three years ago but her chances of adding to that tally in the coming months have been boosted by the absence of a pregnant Serena Williams, who has won their last 18 meetings, including three major finals.

That early exit against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, which came in third set where she was a break up, means that she can no longer secure a place in the main draw at Wimbledon, though she is already assured of entry into qualifying at SW19.

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

A WADA spokesman said that the organisation had followed all the required procedures before including meldonium on their list of banned substances.

“The Court of Arbitration reduced her suspension but also recognized that Maria was the sole person responsible for her misfortune, ” Giudicelli said. Some players were critical of tournament organizers who allowed Sharapova into the tournament without any ranking points. She had taken it for medical reasons for most of her career.

She was given wild cards at Stuttgart and Madrid before the Italian Open this week.

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