Maria Sharapova and Jannik Sinner are obviously a happy lot after getting important wildcards at the Australian Open and in Auckland. This comes as good news for the two tennis players since they will now bypass the qualification stage for these exciting tournaments. It is now up to them to make the most of this golden chance to pull off exemplary performances in those tournaments.
The two tennis players will be hoping to bounce back from their defeats at the beginning of the year. Maria Sharapova kicked off her 2020 season by suffering a heartbreaking loss to Jennifer Brady. The Russian was beaten in the initial stage of the Brisbane International. Whereas Jannik Sinner was beaten 6-3,6-4 by Emil Ruusuvuori in the Bendigo Challenger.
Maria Sharapova & Jannik Sinner during their training in Brisbane. 🎾
📹: zimaglia / IG Stories pic.twitter.com/rHy6O01wjl
— SpacePova (@SpacePova) December 31, 2019
Maria Sharapova hopes to turnaround her tennis career
Maria Sharapova has not performed to her level best ever since she returned from a doping ban. The Russian received a doping ban on March 7th, 2016. She was found guilty of using Meldonium- a heart drug WADA had added to its category of banned drugs. As a result, Maria Sharapova was punished with a two-year suspension. However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found the case strong hence reduced Sharapova’s suspension from 2 years to 1 year and three months.
The 32-year-old experienced a controversial return in 2017. She immediately received wild card entries to Rome, Madrid and Stuttgart tennis tournaments. This turn of events stirred a buzz among some established tennis players who complained that Maria Sharapova was receiving backdoor entry if not special treatment. Some of the players who complained included Roberta Vinci, Eugenie Bouchard, Carolina Wozniacki, Agnieszka Radwanska, Kristina Mladenovic and Dominika Cibulkova. They insisted the Sharapova should follow the due process, which entailed taking part in qualification rounds.
However, her return did not reflect exactly what she is capable of. She reached the Stuttgart semi-finals and was subjected to the French Open qualifying rounds. What followed were some average performances and shoulder issues that saw her drop drastically in the WTA rankings to position 147. But she hopes to make it to at least the fourth round during the Australian Open to avoid falling further in the WTA rankings.
Christmas greetings from Jannik Sinner and Maria Sharapova 🎄 pic.twitter.com/V393EtPwdb
— Tennis24.com (@Tennis24_com) December 25, 2019
Jannik Sinner regarded as the most interesting youngster on tour
Sinner is already making a name for himself at the biggest stage of tennis. At 18, the youngster has the ATP Next Gen title and ATP Newcomer of the Year award under his name. Last year he rose from position 553 to 78 in the ATP Rankings.
The youngster will be hoping to pull off some excellent performances and results in the ASB Classic men’s tournament set for Auckland. The Italian received a wild card to take part in this upcoming tournament in Auckland.
Jannik Sinner’s ranking and performance in 2020
Ranked world no.78 (career-high), Jannik played his last match on the 9th of November when he beat Alex De Minaur 4-2 4-1 4-2 in the final in the Next Gen ATP Finals to win his 0th challenger.
Maria Sharapova’s ranking and performance in 2020
Ranked world no.147, the Russian played her last match on the 7th of January when she surrendered to Jennifer Brady 3-6 6-1 7-63 in the 1st round in Brisbane.