Wednesday 24 July 2019

Caroline Wozniacki questions Maria Sharapova's Stuttgart wildcard

Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki
'Progress to the next round already makes this Grand Slam competition the most successful major tournament for the Dane in two years.' Photo: Getty

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki thinks Maria Sharapova's wildcard for the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart next month is "disrespectful".

Sharapova's 15-month ban for taking meldonium ends on April 26 and the Stuttgart event starts on the 24th.

As such, Sharapova - who will return to the sport without a world ranking - will not be allowed at the venue until her ban has passed.

Wozniacki is happy to see the five-time grand slam winner returning to the Tour, but does not believe it should be in Stuttgart.

Speaking at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells she said: "First of all I think she's a good draw for tennis, women's tennis in general. But two, I think it's questionable allowing - no matter who it is - a player that is still banned to play a tournament that week.

"From the tournament side I think it's disrespectful to the other players and the WTA. But it is what it is. Obviously rules are twisted and turned in favour of who wants to do what.

"I think everyone deserves a second chance and I think she's going to come back and fight her way back. I'm sure she's going to play well. But at the same time, I feel when a player is banned for drugs, I think someone should start from the bottom and fight their way back."

Asked to clarify her point on the Stuttgart tournament, Wozniacki answered: "I think once a tournament is started and a player is banned, I don't think a player should be allowed to play that week."

PA Media

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