Maria Sharapova sells tickets, believes Greg Rusedski

Johannesburg [South Africa], Apr. 5 (ANI): Former British tennis star Greg Rusedski believes Russian tennis champion Maria Sharapova will receive more wildcard entries to tournaments as she "draws a big crowd no matter where she plays".

Sharapova is set to make a comeback later this month in the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart after serving a 15-month doping ban.

Her suspension runs out on April 26 and she will play her first match the same day, having been given a wild card into the event.

Sharapova has been handed two more wildcards for the Madrid and Italian Opens.

Understanding that these events want to sell tickets, Rusedski, however, believes that the Russian should not get a red carpet treatment if one asks him from a players' point of view.

"I can see both sides of it," Sport24 quoted Rusedski as saying.

"Promoters and tournaments want a big name in their event. They want Sharapova because she draws a big crowd no matter where she plays."

"But from a players' perspective, they're probably like 'earn your stripes back'. She's been banned and they probably think she should have to build her way back in," he added.

The 43-year-old further said that if Sharapova is going to sell the most tickets then tournament organisers would obviously put her in.

It has been almost a year since Sharapova rocked the tennis world by announcing that she had tested positive for meldonium, an over-the-counter heart medication.

She was then awarded the suspension which meant she couldn't play at the last Olympics in Rio in August. (ANI)