French Open organisers opt not to give Maria Sharapova wildcard

The 30-year-old is ranked too low to gain automatic entry

BY Cian Roche 19:00 Tuesday 16 May 2017, 19:00 16 May 2017

Image: Giuseppe Maffia / DPI / NurPhoto

Maria Sharapova will not feature in this year's French Open after organisers opted not to offer the two-time winner champion a wildcard.

The Russian is ranked 211 in the world which is too low for an automatic entry to the Grand Slam. Sharapova has competed since her return from a 15-month drugs ban, after receiving wilcards to play in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome.

"There can be a wildcard for the return from injuries - there cannot be a wildcard for the return from doping," French Tennis Federation chief Bernard Giudicelli Ferrandini said.

"I'm very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans.

"They might be very disappointed, she might be very disappointed, but it's my responsibility, my mission, to protect the high standards of the game played without any doubt on the result."

The 30-year-old has not competed at a Grand Slam since testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

Sharapova has originally been banned for two years after testing positive for the banned substance, but had her ban reduced to 15 months after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found that she had not intentionally doped.

The French Open begins on May 28th.

Maria Sharapova during her match against Christina Mchale at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2017 in Rome. Image: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

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