After all that, Sharapova a grass no-go

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ROLAND GARROS – The debate about whether Maria Sharapova should/would get a Wimbledon wild card came and went.

A wild card was awaded at a tuneup event in Birmingham, after much discussion within the British Lawn Tennis Association.

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The anticipation of her appearance at the Wimbledon qualifying in low-key Roehampton and the chaos that might ensue became a thing.

After all that, Sharapova announced Saturday that she’s out for the entire grass-court season.

“After an additional scan, the muscle tear that I sustained in Rome will unfortunately not allow me to compete in the grass court tournaments I was scheduled to play. I want to thank the LTA for their amazing support on my return and providing me with a Birmingham wild card, a tournament which I hope many of you will be able to attend,” Sharapova wrote on her Facebook page.

“I look forward to meeting you there next year. I’ll continue to work on my recovery and my next scheduled tournament is in Stanford.”

Much ado for nothing.

Pfft….. That’s the sound of all the air seeping out of that balloon.

It’s a shame for the tournaments. But they’ll survive just fine. It’s a bigger shame for Sharapova.

The 30-year-old Russian was impressive in her first tournament back after serving a 15-month doping suspension. She reached the semi-finals at the indoor event in Stuttgart in late April.

Then, She lost to Canadian Genie Bouchard in the second round of the first outdoor clay-court event in Madrid.

In Rome, she had to retire in the third set of her second-round match against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni with the leg injury.

When and if she returns in Stanford, she will have been out of action another three months. 

The comeback is proving challenging in ways she probably never anticipated.

With the lack of matches, there’s no way Sharapova can get her ranking up in time to make the cutoff for the US Open, which is in the middle of July.

So once again, a national federation will be under the gun to make that “call” – a wild card for a former champion? Or will she play the qualifying.

This time, we’re thinking she gets a wild card into the main draw. But that’s to be determined.

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