Maria Sharapova will miss out on the French Open for a second year in a row after being denied a wildcard entry by tournament officials.
French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli Ferrandini took to – of all things – a Facebook live video from his personal page to announce the news.
“There can be a wildcard for the return from injuries,” he said. “There cannot be a wildcard for the return from doping.”
The two-time French Open champion (2012 and 2014) only returned to the world of professional tennis, without a ranking, five weeks ago, after copping a 15-month suspension from the sport for testing positive to the drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.
“I’m very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans,” said Ferrandini. “They might be very disappointed, she might be very disappointed, but it’s my responsibility, my mission, to protect the high standards of the game played without any doubt on the result.”
Shortly after the FTF made its announcement, Sharapova withdrew injured from her second-round Italian Open match against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
“I apologise for having to withdraw from my match with a left thigh injury,” she said. “I will be getting all the necessary examinations to make sure it is not serious.”
She’d needed to reach the semi-finals of the tournament to qualify for Wimbledon‘s main draw, and will now be relying on a wildcard for that Grand Slam – her first since testing positively to meldonium – as well.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian / Getty.