Maria Sharapova has been denied a wildcard into this year’s French Open, tournament organisers have announced on Facebook.
The 30-year-old Russian made her comeback last month after serving a suspension following a positive test for heart drug meldonium at last year’s Australian Open.
She had hoped for a favour from the French Tennis Federation (FFT) because her ranking, currently 211, does not warrant an automatic place.
The decision was announced by the FFT on Facebook Live shortly before Sharapova was due to play her second-round match at the Italian Open in Rome.
It had been expected that the FFT would hand Sharapova, who won the 2012 and 2014 titles on the Parisian clay, at least a wildcard into the qualifying tournament.
Sharapova’s return has been dogged by criticism with several leading players voicing their disapproval at the decision of tournament organisers in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome to grant her a main draw wildcard.
Eugenie Bouchard recently beat Sharapova shortly after voicing her displeasure at the Russian being allowed to play at the top tournaments.
The five-time grand slam champion is also sweating on her place at Wimbledon with the cut-off for direct entries into the main draw on Monday. She needs to reach the semi-finals in Rome to claim a main draw spot at Wimbledon by right.
(c) Sky News 2017: Maria Sharapova denied wildcard place at French Open