Sharapova says she will fight on after French Open snub

Maria Sharapova after she won the French Open in 2012

Maria Sharapova after she won the French Open in 2012

Maria Sharapova retired with injury in her second-round match in Rome, just hours after she was denied a wild card for the French Open, while defending champion Andy Murray crashed to a heavy defeat in his opener against Fabio Fognini.

'No words, games or actions will ever stop me from reaching my own dreams. "And I have many".

Although many of Sharapova's rivals have lashed out at other tournaments for giving her preferential treatment, WTA chief executive Steve Simon backed the Russian tennis player and described the actions of the FFT as "groundless".

'There can be a wildcard for the return of injuries - there cannot be a wildcard for the return from doping, ' FFT chief Bernard Giudicelli Ferrandini said.

Cash continued: "I would hope they (Wimbledon) would stay strong and say "no sorry, you have got to go through and play qualifying".

"She might be very disappointed, but it's my responsibility, it's my mission to protect the game and protect the high standards of the game", he said.

In a message posted on her official Twitter page following the news on Tuesday that she would not be granted automatic entry into Roland Garros, Sharapova made no specific reference to the French Open.

"She has complied with the sanction". To begin with, she has to come to terms with the French Open snub and find a way - psychologically and otherwise - to prepare for what seems to be a long battle ahead. But Sharapova, a two-time victor at Roland Garros, probably knows it better than anyone else that her dreams of making a strong comeback will take a lot to realise.

Accepting the decision to bar her from the French Open without rancour would give the Russian a chance to rise above the furore, according to former world number three Pam Shriver.

"While wildcards exist for players returning from injury, there is nothing for a return from a doping ban", he added.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced the ban on appeal, ruling she bore "less than significant fault" in the case and she could not "be considered to be an intentional doper".

"There are no grounds for any member of the (tennis anti-doping program) to penalize any player beyond the sanctions set forth in the final decision resolving these matters", Simon said, via The Associated Press. But on Monday, fans cheered and held up signs of encouragement for Sharapova, a three-time Rome champion, during her first-round match.

Nevertheless, much could still happen over the next five weeks to influence Wimbledon's decision, which will not be made until June 20, 13 days before competition starts at the All England Club.