Stanford | Sharapova gets another wild card
Tennis fans, not least Maria Sharapova fans, await news as to whether the now controversial Russian star is going to be granted a wild card into the US Open.
Having failed to gain one for both the French Open and Wimbledon, it seems likely that the USTA will follow suit and give her no option but to come through qualifying.
Players, coaches, agents people from around the world who weren’t necessarily there who were just saying I’m glad you said that, I support you and I agree with you and I just realised a lot of people were maybe afraid to speak up. That’s how I am, so. Eugenie Bouchard
While she has played World Team Tennis in the last few weeks, she has not appeared at an official tournament since picking up an injury at the Italian Open in Rome.
Sharapova, who was banned for 15 months for drug abuse, has had to rely on wildcards to obtain entry into tournaments and these have been forthcoming from events who are keen to capitalize on her appeal.
Currently the former world No.1 is ranked 179 and will be in action next week in Stanford where she has been granted a wildcard for the Bank of the West Classic which is the first stop of the U.S. Open Series and Sharapova’s attendance will be her first there since 2011 with her best result coming in 2010 when she lost to Victoria Azarenka in the final.
Her presence and the way she has been eased back into the WTA Tour has rankled a lot of people including players with Eugenie Bouchard being the most vociferous of them.
Speaking to Sportsnet recently she confirmed she believed the Russian was a ‘cheater’ and was delighted when they met on court at the Madrid Open, that she was able to defeat the five-time grand slam champion.
When asked by Sportsnet if she had any regrets over making the comments, the Canadian replied: “No, of course not!
“Players, coaches, agents people from around the world who weren’t necessarily there who were just saying I’m glad you said that, I support you and I agree with you and I just realised a lot of people were maybe afraid to speak up. That’s how I am, so.’
And referring to her match in Madrid where she won 7-5 2-6 6-4 after nearly three hours, she confirmed she had extra motivation. “I was on the court and I was motivated and obviously there all of the off-court controversy which made it into a very tense match.
“And I went out, once I was on the court I put everything else to the side and I just wanted to play as well as I could.
“I definitely had a bit of extra motivation to kind of do it for all of us who have been fair to the sport and who have played the sport in the true way it’s meant to be played.”