Maria Sharapova's Imminent Return To Tennis; Find Out Why It's So Controversial [VIDEO]
Maria Sharapova is set to return to professional tennis in the Porsche Grand Prix on April 26 at Stuttgart, Germany. Sharapova is back after serving a 15-month suspension from playing professional tennis as ordered by the International Tennis Federation after failing a doping test and tested positive for the drug, meldonium.
It's in the fine print
While many tennis stars and players on the tennis tour welcome the development, The Independent noted that not everybody is happy that Maria Sharapova was given a slot via a wildcard entry into the tournament. Not playing for over a year has eaten away Maria Sharapova's points and now she is currently unranked. Some players believe that while she deserves a second chance, they insist that the Stuttgart tournament should not have included her especially when the sponsor of the tournament is also Maria Sharapova's sponsor.
Furthermore, they have been stressing on is that it is bad timing as her suspension ends on April 26 but the tournament already started two days before that. The Daily Mail revealed that some of the players think Maria Sharapova should work her way up coming back from a doping scandal. While they assert that, they also acknowledge that the game will benefit from her return. Maria Sharapova can draw in big crowds and this is especially helpful for smaller tournaments on tour.
Aside from the Stuttgart tourney, Maria Sharapova has accepted the wild cards offered by WTA-sanctioned tournaments Mutua Madrid Open and the Internazionale BNL d'Italia or the Italian Open.
What tennis enthusiasts are looking at though is if the French Open, a Grand Slam tournament, will give her one as well.This is because even if she wins all three titles of the smaller pocket tournaments, they will not even be enough for her to qualify in the French Open. While it is wrong to hand out a wild card in such a prestigious tournament, players on the tour believe it is still up to the organizers because they will do what is best for their business.