Sharapova to enjoy special ranking
Shoulder op won’t stop Maria Sharapova’s big clay day
Maria Sharapova is set to play in the French Open despite her unsuccessful return to action following a shoulder operation.
The former world No1 had surgery in October and although she played in a doubles match at Indian Wells last month she then pulled out of the following week's Miami tournament to rest her shoulder. However, the boss of the Russian tennis federation said Sharapova is aiming to play in the second major of the season, which starts on 24 May.
“I talked to Sharapova's father recently, and he told me was preparing to play at Roland Garros,” said Shamil Tarpishchev.
“He also told me she was set to play one or two preparation tournaments on red clay before the French Open but had yet to decide which ones.”
Sharapaova, who will turn 22 on Sunday, missed the US Open and Beijing Olympics in 2008 as well as this year's Australian Open because of her shoulder problems.
She has slumped to 53 in the rankings but enjoys from the WTA a special injury ranking of four, which she can use for acceptance into Tour events.
That ranking exception is valid for eight tournaments, one of which can be a one grand slam.