The Sharapova wildcard saga has been casting a huge cloud on world tennis, with players having divided views about Sharapova getting wildcards. While it is the decision of the tournament organisers to provide Sharapova with wildcards, but the ‘hate’ has been directed towards her, and not many have come out and empathised with her.
Sharapova has made it clear that she isn’t listening to what is being said about her ‘return’ in the press, and would like to focus on the job at hand, rather than indulging in off court conversation. Stuttgart was the first event to grant her a wildcard and since then tournament directors all over the world have been questioned if they would go ahead and do the same. While Roland Garros and Wimbledon are yet to take a call, it seems like they might eventually not have to make that decision, as the tournaments leading up to them could sort things out for Sharapova.
Also Read: Eugenie Bouchard calls Sharapova a ‘CHEATER’
The Madrid tournament President, Gerard Tsobanian, in a recent interview with El Pais said that Sharapova isn’t just any other player, and deserves more attention.
“Maria is not just any player. She is a champion, a star who has won big titles and deserves a little bit more attention. She does not have to put herself at the back of the line and prove again that she knows how to play tennis. She knows how to play, because she showed it in the past and also in her return in Stuttgart, where she reached the semi-finals” Tsobanian said.
“Does she need to prove something? Stand in line and start from scratch? Sorry but no. I see it differently from the players who have been critical. She has had enough time to reflect. I have been with her and I have seen that she is very happy to be on the circuit again. She is a born competitor” she added.
Tsobanian also said that Sharapova’s inclusion wasn’t made to increase ticket sales, as Madrid is a big enough tournament to attract enough spectators, and doesn’t depend on one ‘particular’ superstar.