Post French Open snub, Sharapova vows to `rise up again`

Johannesburg [South Africa], May 17 : Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova has promised to fight and ` rise up again` after she was denied a wildcard card entry for the French Open following her 15-month doping ban.

"If this is what it takes to rise up again, then I am in it all the way, everyday.No words, games, or actions will ever stop me from reaching my own dreams.

And I have many," Sharapova wrote on Twitter following her snub. Sharapova had made a return from her 15-month doping suspension without a ranking last month and has since risen to 211 in the world after receiving wildcards in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome.

The 30-year-old had been hoping to receive a wildcard either into the main draw or the qualifying tournament of the French Open,which she has won twice, but the French Tennis Federation (FFT) took the unexpected decision to refuse her entry.

"You can get a wild card when you return from injury but you cannot get a wild card when returning from a doping suspension," FFT chief Bernard Giudicelli Ferrandini had said in an internet media conference.

"I appreciate the media impact of Maria, I appreciate the broadcasters' expectations but in conscience, it was not possible to go beyond the anti-doping code and beyond the application of the rules.I'm very sorry for Maria, very sorry for her fans," Giudicelli had added.

Although many of Sharapova's rivals have lashed out at other tournaments for giving her preferential treatment, WTA chief executive Steve Simon backed the Russian tennis player and described the actions of the FFT as "groundless".

"What I do not agree with is the basis put forward by the FFT for their decision with respect to Maria Sharapova.

She has complied with the sanction imposed by CAS. The tennis anti-doping program (TADP) is a uniform effort supported by the Grand Slams, WTA, ITF and ATP," Sport24 quoted Simon as saying.

"There are no grounds for any member of the TADP to penalise any player beyond the sanctions set forth in the final decisions resolving these matters," he added.

However, Sharapova has guaranteed a spot at Wimbledon qualifying event in July after winning her opening match at the on-going Rome Masters.

But she missed out on a chance of direct entry into the main draw after a second-round exit on Tuesday.

Sharapova, who was wearing a bandage on her left thigh, retired hurt from her contest when she was leading M.

Lucic-Baroni 4-6, 6-3, 2-1. The Russian tennis player had left the court for an injury timeout during the second game of the third set.

Source: ANI