Russian star was denied a French Open place following her drug ban and SW19 chiefs are told they should follow suit
PAT CASH has urged Wimbledon chiefs NOT to offer Maria Sharapova a wildcard this summer.
The Russian star was denied a place in the forthcoming French Open following her 15-month ban for testing positive for meldonium.
And 1987 Wimbledon champ Cash said: “Well done to the French Tennis Federation.
Keep up to date with ALL the TENNIS NEWS
“It’s absolutely the correct decision. She certainly should not be getting benefits from the fact she got caught using an illegal drug.
“I am disappointed the Italian Federation haven’t done the same thing by giving her a wildcard in Rome this week — even though she didn’t get through. I would hope Wimbledon would stay strong and say, ‘No, sorry, you’ve got to go through and play qualifying’.
“I certainly think the All England Club need to stand up and make a stance about this and say we are not rewarding drug cheats.”
Sharapova, 30, was not able to acquire enough ranking points to secure an automatic place in qualifying for the tournament in Paris and so was reliant on a wildcard — with FFT chief Bernard Giudicelli hinting that the rejection was due to her recent ban.
And Shazza responded on Twitter to the French Open’s decision not to let her play in Paris qualifying next week.
She said: “If this is what it takes to rise up again, I am in it all the way, every day.
“No words, games, or actions will ever stop me from reaching my dreams. And I have many.”
It’s not Ova yet
Defiant Maria Sharapova tells French Open chiefs their ‘games’ won’t stop her reaching her dreams
When is the French Open 2017? Match schedule, TV coverage and latest odds – here’s what we know
MUM’S THE WORD
Serena Williams confirms she is ’20 weeks’ pregnant with first child by Reddit chief Alexis Ohanian
Juan Martin del Potro’s model girlfriend on hand to comfort Argentine ace as he bows out to Roger Federer at Miami Open
ROCKY ROAD BACK
Banned drug cheat Maria Sharapova looks ready for tennis return as she shows off her beach body in Hawaii
GENIE IN A BOTTLE
Who is Eugenie Bouchard, who is her boyfriend and what was her Super Bowl blind date bet?
fall of rome
Andy Murray suffers another early exit with straight sets defeat to Fabio Fognini in Rome
he’s worth a mint
What is Andy Murray’s net worth and how has the world number one tennis player made his fortune?
Kim, set and match
Who is Kim Sears? Andy Murray’s wife who went to school with This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby
‘THIS IS OVA’
Maria Sharapova DENIED French Open spot as ‘there cannot be a wildcard for players returning from doping’
Who is Johanna Konta? British No.1 tennis star has risen into the top ten in the WTA Tour world rankings – here’s what we know
Rafael Nadal sparkles in gruelling Madrid Open final victory against the world No9 Dominic Thiem
Why has Maria Sharapova been denied a French Open wildcard and will she play at Wimbledon?
Ban almost Ova
Maria Sharapova ‘had to Google banned drug’ despite taking it since 2006 – as tennis star says she had ‘great dating life’ during time out
What is Serena Williams’ net worth and how much has she won in prize money during her career?
Is Ana Ivanovic pregnant? Tennis star looks glowing as she tenderly holds tummy and smiles while out with husband Bastian Schweinsteiger
When are the Wimbledon Championships 2017? Match schedule, TV coverage and latest odds – here’s what we know
WTA chief executive Steve Simon, however, condemned the reasoning for the Sharapova snub, after she had her sanction reduced from two years by the Court for Arbitration of Sport.
He said: “The tennis anti-doping program is a uniform effort supported by the Grand Slams, WTA, ITF and ATP.
“There are no grounds for anyone to penalise any player beyond the sanctions set forth in the final decisions resolving these matters.”
Shazza was forced to retire from her second-round clash at the Italian Open in Rome this week because of an injury to her left leg, having gone on court just 30 minutes after Giudicelli’s announcement.
She would have needed to reach the semi-finals to gain automatic entry into the main Wimbledon draw — but has at least secured a place in the qualifying event at Roehampton, should she be fit enough to take part.
The decision on Sharapova’s Wimbledon wildcard is due at a meeting on June 20 by a sub-committee, chaired by former British No 1 Tim Henman.
The LTA is, though, expected to confirm that Sharapova WILL be given a free pass into the Aegon Classic — a Wimbledon warm-up event in Birmingham next month.