Sharapova advances at Italian Open

Taylor Byrd
May 17, 2017

Maria Sharapova booked her place at next month's Wimbledon qualifying event by beating Christina McHale in the first round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

Maria Sharapova returned to tennis last month after doping suspension but won't be able to play the French Open. Sharapova will also wait on the French Federation Tennis' decision on whether the former two-time French Open victor will get a wildcard into the main draw or qualifying.

Sharapova's WTA ranking will move up to around 170 in the win, and can go higher if she passes her second-round test against No.16-seeded Mirjana-Lucic Baroni. Sharapova had left the court for an injury timeout during the second game of the third set.

It is a key preparation event for the French Open, the clay court Grand Slam, which begins on May 28 at Roland Garros in Paris.

"I would love to experience those feelings again".

"That feeling ultimately stays inside of you and you know how good it feels and you know what you work for". World No. 1 Andy Murray also criticised the decision, but said organisers would "take their own decisions". The five-time Grand Slam champion has understandably been rusty in some of her matches upon her return.

Mladenovic said before the pair's meeting in April that "all the other players are saying she (Sharapova) is a cheater", in comments carried by The Guardian.

Wimbledon's chief executive, Richard Lewis, said the possibility of Sharapova's descending onto the small facility in the same year was a mere coincidence. "I will be focused on my match, as I'm playing tomorrow", Sharapova said, adding that she would accept a qualifying wildcard.

Having levelled it up with a pinpoint backhand, Sharapova started to get her serve going in a hold to 15 that featured some characteristically aggressive shot-making, before breaking once more for a one-set lead.

Berdych matched his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, with 599 career victories.

In an open letter addressed to his fans on rogerfederer.com, he explained his absence from Roland Garros was part of his bid to "try and play on the ATP World Tour for many years to come". "I've been saying that for years yet this is my first trip here".

"As you talk with players, it's very controversial", Forget told BBC Sport.

"I can't wait to be part of the first ever Laver Cup". I read the articles and the CAS ruling to reduce her sanction.

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