Maria Sharapova, a day after being denied a wild card spot to play in the French Open, wrote in a tweet on Wednesday morning that proclaimed, “no words, games or actions will ever stop me from reaching my own dreams.”
A two-time French Open champion, Sharapova has played in three events since serving a 15-month suspension for using meldonium, a banned substance. 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.
"If this is what it takes to rise up again, then I am in it all the way, everyday," Sharapova said. "No words, games or actions will ever stop me from reaching my own dreams. And I have many."
On Tuesday, FTF president Bernard Giudicelli explained over a live Facebook broadcast his reasoning for not granting Sharapova a wild card, saying it was to “protect the game.”
“I decided not to give Maria Sharapova a wild card. I’m very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans,” Giudicelli said. “They might be disappointed, she might be very disappointed. …This suspension is over and she can take her path toward new success. 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 also drew ire from Steve Simon, the head of the Women’s Tennis Association, who vehemently disagreed with the FTF and said Sharpapova “compiled with the sanction imposed.”
"There are no grounds for any member of the (tennis anti-doping program) to penalize any player beyond the sanctions set forth in the final decision resolving these matters," Simon said, via The Associated Press.
Sharapova, currently ranked No. 211 in the WTA world rankings, is currently playing in the Italian Open. After a win on Monday, the 30-year-old is guaranteed a place in Wimbledon qualifying and has the ability to still earn a place via the main tournament draw.
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