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Boris Becker Puts Weight Behind 'Wildcard' Maria Sharapova

Pratik Sagar | News18 Sports

Updated: March 16, 2017, 11:03 AM IST
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Boris Becker Puts Weight Behind 'Wildcard' Maria Sharapova
File Image of Boris Becker (Getty Images)

New Delhi: German tennis legend Boris Becker has put his weight behind Maria Sharapova who is supposedly in line to get a wildcard entry at the French Open 2017.

The former World number one was banned from tennis for two years in March 2016, after she tested positive for a banned drug Meldonium. However, the ban was later reduced to 18 months by Court of Arbitration (CAS) and it now ends on April 26.

“It is a very hot topic and it has been discussed a lot. I am not the director of the French Open nor I am currently playing,” said Becker in an exclusive interview to News18 Sports.

“Sharapova was banned for 18 months and she did her time, so now if she wants to play tennis again, there is no reason why she cannot play,” said the six-time grand slam champion.

The 29-year-old has already been awarded wildcard at three different events, starting with the Stuttgart Open, which was earlier supposed to start on April 24. But to accommodate the last day of Sharapova's ban, the dates of the German WTA event has been shifted forward by couple of days.

However, even if Sharapova manages to win the three events, she won't have the required points to make a direct entry into the Rolland Garros.

It is widely expected that Sharapova will be given a wildcard, something which has not gone down well with the fellow stars.

"It's two different issues - the issue of morality and how you view it, and the issue of business," former grand slam winner Andy Roddick told ESPN.com

"I think you should really have to work your way back,” quipped Roddick.

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios may have had his run-ins with the authorities regarding his behaviour, but he was quick to point out that there is no place in the game for ‘cheaters’.

"I'm anti-anything that's performance-enhancing, massively against it. I'm not the one to say what [violators] should - or shouldn't - get afterwards, but it doesn't make sense to support people who cheat," Kyrgios was quoted as saying by ESPN.com.

First Published: March 16, 2017, 11:03 AM IST
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