Maria Sharapova unconcerned by doping criticism

The five-time champion was one of more than 100 athletes who tested positive for meldonium previous year.

A decision will be announced during "the week of May 15", the French federation, which organises the tournament, said in a statement on Friday.

The French Open starts on 28 May.

Sharapova has also been offered a wildcard to clay-court events in Madrid and Rome.

Meanwhile, as stated above, American great Serena Williams has announced she is expecting her first child with her fiance Alexis Ohanian, to whom she got engaged late previous year, around September.

Williams, 35, hasn't played since beating her sister Venus in the final of the Australian Open in January to clinch a record 23rd Grand Slam singles title.

She's a five-time Grand Slam Champion, one of only six women to win all four slams in the open era, but there's more to Maria Sharapova than just tennis.

Sharapova had an initial two-year suspension by the International Tennis Federation cut to 15 months after she tested positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

About the doping ban, Sharapova said she found it "incredibly difficult" to come to terms with it: "I felt very small and vulnerable".

"I'm not hiding my views. She doesn't have [friends], I don't think, because she doesn't talk to anybody".

"This kind of entry into the tournament should be available only for players who were dropped in the ranking due to injury, illness or other random accident".

Schiavone wasn't even given a wildcard entry into the qualifying tournament, meaning Italian tennis fans will be denied the chance to offer their thanks to a player who helped put the sport on their map thanks to her victory at Roland Garros in 2010.

Earlier this month, French Tennis Federation (FFT) president Bernard Giudicelli had hinted at their reservations to give the 30-year-old player a wild card entry which she would require as her world ranking has nearly disappeared during her absence.

  • Angelo Rivera