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Tennis Story: Roberta Vinci criticises Maria Sharapova wildcard in Stuttgart

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Roberta Vinci criticises Maria Sharapova wildcard in Stuttgart

Maria Sharapova’s drug ban was reduced from two years to 15 months on appeal
Roberta Vinci has criticised the decision to give Maria Sharapova a wildcard for the Stuttgart Open after her return from a 15-month doping ban.

Vinci will play Sharapova on Wednesday in the first-round match in Germany on Centre Court.

It will be the former world No 1’s first game since her suspension for testing positive for banned substance meldonium at the 2015 Australian Open.

Vinci, the 2015 US Open runner-up, said: “She is of course a great player, I have nothing against her.

“She made her mistakes for sure, but she paid and I think she can return to play – but without any wildcards.”

Sharapova has also been granted wildcards by the organisers of the events in Madrid and Rome.

The 30-year-old does not have a world ranking after her points expired during her suspension and would need to reach the final in Stuttgart to be eligible for French Open qualifying.

World No 8 Agnieszka Radwanska and former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki have also criticised the decision to give Sharapova a wildcard for the tournament in Germany.

Sharapova will find out on May 16 whether she will receive a wildcard entry to the season’s second Grand Slam tournament, the French Open in Paris.

Meanwhile, Boris Becker said he hopes the Russian has learnt from the experience of being banned from the sport.

Former world No 1 Maria Sharapova wants to compete in the Olympics in three years time

The six-time Grand slam champion told Sky Sports News HQ: “You can’t criticise the tournament, she is the biggest attraction.

“But it’s an open secret that she wasn’t the most popular player on tour. Maybe the suspension hopefully will make her more humble and appreciative of the situation and that tennis has taken her back.”

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Kate Middleton’s anger at Prince William over his lifestyle: ‘Making me look bad’

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KATE MIDDLETON was left furious with Prince William after he was pictured dancing on a podium alongside another woman just days after another encounter in a nightclub.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced Kate will host a charity Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey next week. Taking place on December 8, the event will be televised in the lead up to Christmas. Kate and William’s increasingly integral role within the Royal Family has also shown the strength of their relationship. Earlier this year, the Cambridges celebrated 10 years of marriage. They didn’t reach the milestone without challenging moments, however, as highlighted by a 2007 report.

It claimed that William had been seen dancing on a podium in Bournemouth, attracting the attention of another woman.

This came just days after newspaper reports claimed William was seen sharing an embrace with a woman while on a “boys’ night out” in Boujis, London.

The newspaper quoted a friend of Kate’s who said the Duchess sent a warning to William.

The friend said: “Kate told William that he was making her look bad.

“She has coped for years with girls flinging themselves at her boyfriend and, for a while, she found it humorous and even flattering.

“But after his recent behaviour she gave him an ultimatum and told him that every time he behaved like that in public he was cheapening her image as well as his own.

Kate Middleton news: William and Kate have taken on a big role in the Firm
“She told him she wasn’t prepared to be treated like a doormat and that his carefree behaviour was affecting her image.

“She gave him quite a pasting. In the past, she had always let go of things like that, but this really bothered her.”

A family friend of Kate’s added: “Kate rose above all the rumours and just laughed them off, but something recently snapped in her.

“She was irritated when she read about his flirting in Bournemouth and she wasn’t best pleased to hear about the blonde he ended up with on the dance floor at Boujis.”

Kate and William endured a tough year in 2007 when they briefly split.

Reports from April 2007 also claim that William broke up with Kate via a phone call that she received while at work.

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Naughty Boy’s unfortunate Meghan Markle error: ‘This is the future’

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NAUGHTY BOY made a bold prediction about Meghan Markle’s place in the Royal Family, which sadly turned out to be far from the truth.

Naughty Boy, the music producer who is best known for hits such as Runnin’ and La La La, is already getting stuck into bushtucker trials as he stars in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! He has also clashed with fellow campmate Kadeena Cox over cooking duties as the show begins in dramatic fashion. Naughty boy, whose real name is Shahid Khan, is used to keeping company with big stars, including members of the Royal Family. In February 2018, Naughty Boy performed for royalty as Prince Charles and Camilla hosted a gala dinner for the British Asian Trust.

He admitted he was “petrified” ahead of a performance for the royal couple at Buckingham Palace.

Naughty Boy said: “I was really petrified initially because there’s so much powerful energy here, but it felt right that I should be doing this.”

The DJ said: “I think this is part of the future. The whole culture is shifting to accepting just everything. For the Royal Family to spearhead that ‒ I think that’s amazing.”

Meghan’s life in the Royal Family was far from idyllic, however, as two years of regular criticism and tensions within the family culminated in the Sussexes leaving royal duties behind in 2020.

Meghan and Prince Harry later spoke about their life in the Royal Family with Oprah Winfrey.

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Will Andy Murray retire from tennis?

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After producing a 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 comeback against Oscar Otte on Wednesday, a match played under the centre court lights with a sense of nostalgia, Andy Murray then bowed out of Wimbledon with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 defeat to Denis Shapovalov on Friday.

That loss once again raised the matter of his retirement. Murray almost retired once, but fought back from undergoing surgeries in 2018 and in 2019, operations that mean he now plays with a metal hip

t had seemed that the Scot was set to retire in 2019, so much so that a farewell video was prepared with messages from tennis legends and the other members of what had been ‘The Big Four’. That came as a shock to the three-time Grand Slam champion as he had never officially stated he’d hang up his racket. But, it did appear that the end was near.

His return at Wimbledon 2021
Murray was able to fight back from his injury nightmare, playing well in doubles and even winning another ATP men’s singles title at the 2019 European Open, his first since March of 2017.

Through a wildcard, he was able to enter Wimbledon in 2021 and spoke ahead of the tournament about how excited he was.

“A few years ago, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to play there ever again,” he told GQ.

“So, even though the last 18 months have been difficult from a tennis perspective, I’ve still been able to play a little bit.

“Unfortunately, I haven’t been at the level that I want as consistently as I wanted to, because of the injuries, but then again before the hip operation I also had come to terms with the fact that I might never play tennis again. So it’s been hard.

“But I’m still excited to be out there and getting the chance to compete in events such as Wimbledon.”

Murray hints at retirement
After bowing out of Wimbledon in the third round, though, Murray was more pessimistic when asked about his future.

“There is a part of me that feels a bit like I have put in so much work the last three months and, you know, ultimately I didn’t play how I would want and expect,” he said after his loss to Shapovalov.

“So, it’s like, is it worth it?”

MÁS EN MARCA

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