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British Tennis fraternity divided on Maria Sharapova's wild card entry

By: Snehanjan Banerjee

London, May 19: Superstar Tennis player Maria Sharapova is right now in the limelight after the French Open denied her from giving a wildcard entry to the Grand Slam. Quite understandably, this is a decision that has caused a lot of stir around the globe.

Sharapova gets wild card entry to pre-Wimbledon tournament

Wimbledon and the LTA look set to be on opposite poles in the Maria Sharapova debate after her much talked about exclusion from Roland Garros.

File photo: Maria Sharapova

The Russian has been planning her next moves after being denied an entry into the French Open and losing in Tuesday's second round of the Italian Open.

An announcement is expected this week that she will accept an invitation to play in Birmingham's Aegon Classic, owned and run by the LTA, between Paris and Wimbledon.

It could come as early as Thursday and it may even be part of a two-year deal brokered by outgoing chief executive Michael Downey, to the disapproval of some staff.

Wimbledon, however, are set to take the opposite side and refuse any request from her to be given a wildcard into their main draw.

Sharapova has already earned her right to play in the qualifying tournament by acquiring enough points since her comeback from a 15-month ban for violating doping rules.

Tim Henman, chairman of the relevant committee at SW19, is said by well-placed sources to be adamant that she should not receive a wildcard. He did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

The official position of the All England Club, who channel their profits into the British game via the LTA every year, remains that they will not make a decision until the committee meets on June 20.

Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash said: "I would hope they would stay strong and say, No, sorry, you have got to go through and play qualifying."

"I certainly think the All England Club need to stand up and take a stance about this."

Sharapova, however on the other hand, now has a much clearer idea of her itinerary, assuming she recovers from the thigh injury she suffered in Rome.

She posted an emotional update on Twitter which read, “If this is what it takes to rise up again then I am in it all the way, every day. No words, games or actions will ever stop me from reaching my own dreams. And I have many."

We have to wait and see what future holds for the queen of Tennis. Worldwide fans of the former world number one will be eager to see her back in action.

OneIndia News

Story first published: Friday, May 19, 2017, 10:25 [IST]
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