Organizers of the French Open tennis tournament do not rule out that Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova will be handed a wild card to participate in the Grand Slam event in France next year, Roland Garros press service told TASS on Oct. 5.
"The list of wildcards is decided 15 days before the tournament; we have time to think about it," the press service announced to TASS.
Sharapova has been serving a two-year suspension for the violation of anti-doping regulations since Jan. 26. However, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on Oct. 4 to reduce Sharapova’s suspension term from 24 to 15 months.
The Russian player is now eligible to officially return back to tennis courts starting April 26 2017. The nearest Grand Slam tournament, which is the 2017 French Open, is scheduled for May 22-June 11 and the Russian tennis star will not have time to earn enough tournament points to join the tennis competition in France. Therefore the wildcard is her only chance to play at the French Grand Slam event.
Alexei Selivanenko, the vice president of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF), told TASS that Sharapova was likely to receive a wildcard for the French Open.
"Sharapova will be resuming the tournament with zero rating," Selivanenko said in an interview with TASS. "It is obvious that before the beginning of the tournament she will be unable to gain enough points to earn the berth."
"However, the organizers of the tournament are most likely to grant a wildcard to such tennis player (as Sharapova)," Selivanenko added.
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