Published: Wed, May 17, 2017
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Sharapova retires injured at Italian Open

Sharapova retires injured at Italian Open

Maria Sharapova's hopes of playing at the French Open were given a big blow when she didn't get a wild card entry to either play in the main draw or qualifying rounds.

Sharapova was leading Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 4-6, 6-3, 2-1 when she called it quits.

The Russian tennis star had left the court for an injury timeout during the second game of the third set. She came back with her left thigh taped.

"Winning matches will get me places, so if..."

"I feel like every match or every day I learn a little bit more and things are coming back to me about the way that I feel and the way I get ready for a match and my habits on match days and those things", Sharapova said.

Sharapova recently returned from a 15-month doping ban after admitting she had used the banned hormone and metabolic modulator meldonium.

She's using another wild card to play in the Italian Open this week.

Should the 30-year-old three-times Rome champion, ranked 211 in the world, reach the semi-finals, she would nearly certainly earn an automatic Wimbledon main draw slot ahead of the May 22 rankings cut-off date.

Sharapova was given a wild card for Rome ahead of local player Francesca Schiavone, which sparked controversy. The former No 1, whose ranking has recovered into the 200s after a Stuttgart semifinal and a second round last week in Madrid, overcame seven double-faults in victory on the clay in 90 minutes.

But it was something else that stumped Sharapova during a press conference after her first round win over Christina McHale at the Italian Open in Rome. The Croat trailed by a break in the opening set but she recovered to win it. Safarova won the next set but Lucic-Baroni managed to weather the storm and defeated the former world number five, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. We are in talks with the tennis authorities on the plan we want to implement to fight against doping.

But Sharapova is not painstakingly tracking her progress toward being able to qualify - far from it, actually. "Nobody can deprive her of her two titles here in Roland Garros, but these two titles she had conquered them according to the rules and behold nothing to anyone".

Tournament organisers had the option of giving the 2012 and 2014 champion a wild card for the French Open's qualifying event, but Giudicelli said this would have been "an insult to the tournament and to Maria". As aforementioned, the duo met last week in the first round at the Mutua Madrid Open, which Sharapova came back from a set down to dispatch the Croat, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.

Even though Federer initially announced he'd play in Roland Garros without any tournament preparation, it didn't make much sense. Also, Sam Querrey eliminated Lucas Pouille, a semifinalist previous year, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (8). Sharapova, who just turned 30, was not among them, for neither the main draw nor for qualifying.

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