In April former world number one Maria Sharapova will return to tennis action after her ban from the sport for taking a prohibited substance.
The Russian will be returning in Stuttgart at the Porsche Grand Prix event as the clay court season gains momentum and now it looks like the wildcards are starting to pick up for the five time for champion as another one has been confirmed in early May for the clay court tournament in Madrid a few weeks before Roland Garros.
The big question is, do the major tournaments go for it?
Sharapova got into the position she is in now for no fault than her own so I don’t believe in handing out wildcards to a player who failed a drugs test.
I can see why they have done it as commercially all eyes will be on the tournament and in modern sport money does the talking but where do morals lie?
This has and will continue to divide opinions but I think tournaments have an image to keep up so I don’t agree with handing out wildcards and I will be interested to see what the Grand Slams do, I don’t think they should but I think they will.
All this was created by Sharapova’s own negligence at the end of the day and now it does look like she will be welcomed back to tournaments with welcomed arms.
For setting an example then I don’t think it does at all, she was caught with a banned substance in her system once that is done you set a precedent, if you offer a wildcard then you will have to offer one to other players if similar issues happen in the future you can’t pick or choose otherwise it will be seen as handing out wild cards due to the profile and popularity of the player which it looks like it will be.
Stuttgart and Madrid have already handed out theirs. Rome follows Madrid so watch this space and also Roland Garros followed by Wimbledon.
In my opinion, I’m fine with player’s receiving wildcards due to injury but after coming back from a drugs ban I’m not too sure. A wild card is a reward and I think Sharapova should have to fight to pick up her ranking once again.
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