Maria Sharapova handed Rome wildcard

Maria Sharapova is set to return from her 15-month doping ban in April

Other tournaments in Madrid and Rome have also offered her wild card entries.

Men's singles world No 1 Andy Murray has taken exception to the awarding of the wild cards saying players returning from a doping ban should be made to work to improve their ranking.

Sharapova is set to return to the courts on April 26 in Stuttgart, but French Open organizers recently told Agence France-Presse that they are facing a dilemma over granting Sharapova a wildcard.

For Wimbledon (July 3-16), the 2004 victor might actually make it into the event if she captures enough points in Stuttgart, Madrid, and Rome.

The new President of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) Bernard Giudicelli has cast doubt on whether Maria Sharapova will be granted a wildcard for her first Grand Slam due back, Roland Garros.

The Russian's world ranking has nearly disappeared during her absence.

Sharapova, who is the three-time Internazionali BNL D'Italia champion grabbing the most recent title in Rome in 2015, earlier picked up wildcards for the tennis tournaments in Stuttgart and Madrid as she is making her return to the circle of the WTA (Women Tennis Association). "If they think big names will sell more seats, they're going to do that". "But then if she doesn't, that becomes Wimbledon's decision and how they want to play that".

Murray was asked to elaborate on his comments on Wednesday.

Roger Federer was not as dead-set in his verdict regarding the matter (wildcards for doping offenders) when asked about it in Dubai on Wednesday. She said she was unaware it had been banned as of 2016 in accordance with tighter constraints by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). "I really don't know what to answer on that one, to be quite honest".

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