Caroline Wozniacki upset about Maria Sharapova's Stuttgart wildcard entry

Rufina Vignone
Marzo 17, 2017

The rules on wildcards handed to players who have been suspended could be reviewed in the wake of Maria Sharapova's return from a doping ban, says the head of women's tennis.

The victor of 35 singles titles and five Grand Slam titles received a reduced 15-month ban for testing positive for meldonium, with the Court of Arbitration for Sports returned a verdict that she had not intentionally broken anti-doping laws when she took the recently added banned substance.

"As both a former Grand Slam champion and WTA Finals victor, Sharapova may request and receive an unlimited number of wildcard nominations, including the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (in Stuttgart), where she will make her return".

Wozniacki has questioned that Sharapova should not have been allowed to participate in Stuttgart, which starts two days before she completes her anti-doping suspension.

However, former world No 1 Wozniacki is unhappy that the sport has bent over backwards to facilitate her return. He predicts Masha will compete at least for three more seasons.'I think she'll play through Tokyoat the Olympics, if healthy'. Once a tournament has started and a player is banned, I don't think that player should be allowed to play that week.

"But it is what it is".

"Tennis is my passion and I have missed it", Sharapova said.

That said, if the WTA wants to make high profile dopers like Sharapova feel the pinch a little more, then remove the "unlimited" clause for life for players who are found to be cheating. End of story. Once the ban ends she should again become just like any other player, and that means receiving wildcards. Sharapova's agent Max Eisenbud, interviewed by CNN, revealed that the ban will help her extend her career that started 15 years ago.

"I am counting the days until I can return to the court". Now the French Open and Wimbledon are debating the matter, and my guess is both will give welcome her back.

But the 29-year-old is expected to be granted a wildcard entry due to her fame and popularity, a move that Wozniacki also feels is unfair.

So while I can understand the players taking offense, Maria did serve her suspension.

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