Maria pleads for a wild card

New Straits Times - - Sport -

Maria Shara­pova will meet with French Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion (FFT) chief Bernard Gi­u­di­celli to plead her case for a wild card at Roland Gar­ros as the two-time cham­pion makes her re­turn from a dop­ing ban.

Gi­u­di­celli said on Fri­day that he had agreed to mee t the Rus­sian su­per­star de­spite his ini­tial reser­va­tions af­ter her agent wrote to the FFT re­quest­ing dis­cus­sions.

“We’re go­ing to meet her (Maria), lis­ten to her ar­gu­ments and then talk it over with Guy (For­get, tour­na­ment di­rec­tor) and we’ll make a de­ci­sion,” said Gi­u­di­celli, who was only elected to the FFT hot­seat on Feb 18.

The for­mer World No 1 will re­turn to the tour on April 26 in Stuttgart, the day that her 15month ban for test­ing pos­i­tive for the banned sub­stance mel­do­nium ends.

But Gi­u­di­celli said on Thursday they would face a moral dilemma if they handed Maria a wild card into this year’s Grand Slam event which she would need as her world rank­ing has dis­ap­peared dur­ing her ab­sence.

“It’s com­pli­cated. We pre­fer that she re­turns com­pletely re­ha­bil­i­tated,” said Gi­u­di­celli.

Maria Shara­pova

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