The quick answer is no in my opinion! If the main reason for giving Sharapova a wildcard is financial gain (in terms of tournament sponsors) then surely they are damaging the integrity of the sport.
I would like to see the WTA setting rules which would take these matters out of any individual tournament's control. Any player who has been banned for drug abuse should have to start at the bottom of the professional ladder and could even have titles/prize money removed from events they have won while cheating. The Olympics take away medals so why not tennis?
The idea that Sharapova can immediately return to the top level events is surely wrong. She has said that she loves the game and competing . If that is the case she could prove it by working her way through futures to challengers and so on. The smaller events at this level would all get a boost at the same time.
Only a few players have come out speaking openly against this decision like Andy Murray, Bouchard and Wozniacki and good for them! I wonder what Murray thinks of Head continuing to support Sharapova? Porshe and Nike have also stayed with her. Money talks and Nike have once again shown their true colours in much the same way they did with the sprinter Justin Gatlin (2 time drug cheat).
Andy Murray also commented on whether Wimbledon would give her a wild card. If she needs one that will be a very interesting decision.....
With women's tennis struggling to compete on a global level maybe the WTA are so desperate for attention that they will allow Maria to do what she wants? And with Serena now out of the game for a while do they really want a drug cheater to be their flag waver for the sport?
Tips for adapting to clay courts
With the clay court season in full swing and if you are lucky enough to access some clay courts here are some tips for how best to adapt your game.
1/ Make sure you wear a clay court shoe which will allow you to slide and grip the court at the same time.
2/ Reduce the tension of your restrings a little as the slower ball will allow you more time to prepare( helping control) and you will need to generate more spin/speed with the ball coming slower off the surface.
3/ Try to use the drop shot more often as any backspin is much more effective on this surface.
4/ If you have a kick serve use it more often for the same reason ie the court is more responsive and the ball will jump up higher!
5/ Learn how to slide - especially for singles play - but be careful when trying for the first time and get some expert advice as it could go wrong!
6/ Be prepared to run a lot and be patient as much more difficult to win points if used to playing on a wet artificial grass court!
7/ For doubles play you may have to rethink your normal strategy especially if you are a serve & volley player with 2nd serve returns much easier with the slow surface.It really becomes much more of a chess match in doubles on clay and you really need to understand how and when to attack & defend effectively.
Why not join us in Trapani and we can develop your doubles strategiy? Click HERE for more info....