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No wildcard for Sharapova: Radwanska

21 April 2017

The Russian, who celebrated her 30th birthday on Thursday, was offered a wildcard entry for Stuttgart because she no longer has a world ranking - a decision that angered some players. In addition, while she did make a mistake, she will end up serving her punishment for it.

Maria Sharapova says that she does not fear a backlash as she prepares to return from a doping ban.

Five-time grand slam champion Sharapova was initially banned for two years by the International Tennis Federation after testing positive to meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

The Russian, who will make her comeback at the Stuttgart Open next week following a 15-month suspension, said that she is confident her opponents still respect her.

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French Tennis Federation officials told EFE that its president, Bernard Giudicelli, chose May 15 as the deadline to decide whether or not to invite Sharapova, former world No.1 and victor of five grand slams.

She has won the Stuttgart clay-court tournament three times and lost just once - to Kerber in 2015 in the first-round.

The Russian can expect a warm welcome from the organisers as she is an ambassador for luxury auto manufacturers Porsche, who sponsor the Stuttgart tournament.

"At the ITF, they should make sure the athletes are informed about the new doping rules".

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Meldonium, which was previously legal, was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency earlier that year, but Sharapova claims she missed the memo instructing her to stop using it. "And they belong to the ITF".

This year's French Open starts on May 28 without Serena Williams, who this week announced she is pregnant.

The photo, captured by USA media, shows Williams in a yellow swimsuit with what appears to be a baby bump.

"So far she hasn't been invited to play at slams in Paris and London and in my opinion that's how it should remain". Sharapova, withdrew from this week's BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells due to injury.

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In December, Serena (35) revealed she was engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian (33).

No wildcard for Sharapova: Radwanska