With the destination of the Davis Cup determined, the professional tennis season has come to a close. Thus, we begin our look back at 2017, a memorable year on and off the court. Our Top 10 On-Court Moments, and our Top 10 Off-Court Moments, will remind you of everything that transpired.
It may have been the most polarizing issue in tennis this season. Maria Sharapova’s comeback from a doping suspension prompted a huge debate about whether tournaments should be giving her wild cards to help her return, drawing in figures from across the sport.
Eugenie Bouchard caused a stir by calling Sharapova a “cheater” who shouldn’t be allowed to compete again, which led to their second-round showdown in Madrid getting worldwide attention. Several other players were also vocal in their criticism, while tournament organizers frequently backed Sharapova. There were public spats between the WTA and the French federation, the LTA and British No. 1 Andy Murray, and even some private confrontations.
Sharapova did receive wild cards into various WTA tournaments, but was refused by the French Open and likely also would not have got one from Wimbledon, where she had entered qualifying but did not play because of injury. But the dust had mostly settled by the US Open, which gave her a wild card with minimal reaction.
And with her ranking now again inside the Top 100, the issue won’t come up as often.
Many players were upset with Maria Sharapova receiving wild cards this season, but the 30-year-old is back in the Top 100 and the problem shouldn’t come up anymore: