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Published: Sun, March 05, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Andy Murray critical of Maria Sharapova being given tournament wild cards

Andy Murray critical of Maria Sharapova being given tournament wild cards

But Britain's men's world number one Andy Murray has led calls for players like Sharapova to only feature at tournaments on merit.

Five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova, the victor at Roland Garros in 2012 and 2014, has already been handed wild cards into the Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome tournaments with organisers fully aware of the former world number one's huge pulling power. Grand slam organisers might face a dilemma on whether they will invite Sharapova to play at Roland Garros or Wimbledon.

Sharapova won the French Open in 2012 and 2014.

Murray is one of the sport's most hardline critics of doping offenders, and he told The Times: "I think you should really have to work your way back".

Murray, the double Olympic gold medallist, said that smaller tournaments will "do what they think if best for their event", even if it others disagree.

In a conversation with a French journalist via Facebook Live, Giudicelli said the decision was yet to be made on whether Sharapova would be given a wild card for the French Open.

She has already been handed wildcards for tournaments in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome.

The five-time grand slam champion will be unranked when she makes her return from a 15-month doping ban next month.

'Integrity is one of our strong points. "But then if she doesn't, that becomes Wimbledon's decision and how they want to play that. We can not decide, on the one hand, to increase the amount of funds we dedicate to the anti-doping battle and, on the other, invite her", he added. However, French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli said he would be uneasy about inviting Sharapova to compete at Roland Garros for the competition which starts in late May, according to AFP.

"However, Sharapova need to build up her ranking- which can only be done by clinching the Stuttgart Open title â€" in order to hold any chances of making it to the qualifying event. "I'm sure they'll think long and hard about it and how they feel people will view it".

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