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Sharapova's Stuttgart return 'disrespectful'


Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova


Maria Sharapova

Former world No 1 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'll 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."

Meanwhile, beaten Andy Murray was at a loss to explain his Indian Wells woes after a shock second-round defeat against Canada's Vasek Pospisil.

The Scot's best showing in California came in 2009 as a runner-up to Rafael Nadal and this 6-4 7-6 (7/5) defeat was his first in five meetings against the world number 129.

As such, Indian Wells and Monte Carlo remain the two ATP Tour 1000 events to elude him.

Irish Independent