Andy Murray: Maria Sharapova Should Qualify For Wimbledon The Hard Way

Andy Murray
Andy Murray at the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, Dubai, February 28. Murray says dopers should have to qualify for tournaments. Tom Dulat/Getty

Tennis world number one Andy Murray believes players returning from doping bans, such as Maria Sharapova, should not be granted wild cards for tournaments.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam winner, was banned for two years after testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, but it was subsequently reduced to 15 months.

The 29-year-old will be allowed to return to the tennis court on April 26 and has been guaranteed wildcard positions for tournaments in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome.

"I think you should really have to work your way back," Murray told The Times. "However, the majority of tournaments are going to do what they think is best for their event. If they think having big names there is going to sell more seats, then they're going to do that."

The Russian would be capable of qualifying for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Club, which takes place from July 3 through July 16. Sharapova would require 600 ranking points from 2,370 available from the three tournaments she will compete in.

"She [Sharapova] has an opportunity to try to improve her ranking up until that point and potentially not need a wildcard," Murray said.

"But then if she doesn't, that becomes Wimbledon's decision and how they want to play that. I'm sure they'll think long and hard about it and how they feel people will view it and then make the right decision for them."

Sharapova will, however, require a wildcard in order to qualify for the French Open at Roland Garros, which takes place in June, as the deadline for entry is before her return.