Maria Sharapova’s return to tennis, after serving a ban that was handed to her for testing positive for meldonium, has been the hottest topic to gossip about in the world of tennis. She will play in Stuttgart, after being given a wild card, and the media has tossed the question of her being given a wild card, not only in Stuttgart, but also in Rome and Madrid, towards the well known players of the tour. She has received mixed reactions, but its safe to say that most of them are not pleased that a player returning from a doping ban has been given a wild card in not one but three tournaments.
Caroline Wozniacki spoke her mind in her post match conference, after her second round win in Indian wells, saying that everyone deserves a second chance, but when a player is returning from a drug ban she should not be treated with such reverence. She said,” i think it’s very questionable allowing- no matter who it is- a player that is still banned to play a tournament that week.” Players such as Angelique Kerber and Garbiñe Muguruza, have spoken against her. Kerber said that other German players that have been performing well might miss out on the tournament because of the wild card given to Sharapova. Muguruza said that nobody is interested in Sharapova’s return, nobody really cares anymore about her. A few players such as Simona Halep have been sympathetic about her return, saying that she is one of the most decorated players in the tennis world. She also said that giving her a chance to return to the competitive stage is only fair to her achievements and stature.
Does Maria Sharapova deserve the wild cards?
Maybe it’s a valid point that a player who has tested positive for drugs shouldn’t be treated with such complacency, but what the media and the other players seem to have forgotten is that Maria Sharapova had been taking the drug since ten years as a medicine prescribed to her, by her doctor for irregular heart rate as well as hereditary diabetes. Also the drug meldonium was not in the list of banned drugs up until last year, which caught her unawares. Maria Sharapova was taken by surprise when she tested positive for it and said it was a genuine mistake, and that she had not intentionally abused the WADA drug rules. So it’s probably fair enough that she has been given wild cards in the tournaments and although she did test positive for drugs, the circumstances in which she did, seem unfortunate rather than intentional, and maybe the media and the players need to get off her back and support one of the greatest female players of this generation