Former American legend Lindsay Davenport feels Maria Sharapova will come through the qualifying round matches at Wimbledon but it will be a challenge to do so. Coming back from a doping ban, Sharapova failed to secure a place in the Wimbledon Main Draw has opted to participate in the qualifying tournament that is held in Roehampton each year before the action kicks off at the All England Club.
Davenport told reporters that some matches before heading to Wimbledon will be helpful for Sharapova. “I don’t think so. She definitely needs matches, and she needs matches on grass, but a former champion – I know all the pros and cons, but Wimbledon qualies is not like any of the other Grand Slam qualies.
It’s off-site, the courts are not the same,” she said. “The courts are amazing at Wimbledon and it’s hard to replicate that anywhere, so it’s going to be a bit of a challenge.” With Sharapova set to feature in the Qualifying Rounds, a lot of different arrangements would be made for the Russian and Davenport looked at the lighter side of it.
“I was joking to her agent last week, we were having a lot of jokes about it. It’s not the same at Roehampton but I think she’s going to be fine though,” added Davenport. “I think she’ll get through it.
It’s a lot of tennis in a row for her, because she’s also supposed to play Birmingham, then qualies, then to go into the main draw. “And I know physically even after playing Stuttgart and then Madrid, her body broke down a little bit, but I think she just wants to play.
She’s a champion. “I don’t know how I feel about her playing qualies. I’m happy she’s back playing. It’s going to be like Roehampton’s never seen. Everybody who has been out there knows what it’s like.
It’ll be interesting. We were all saying we all want to go out there and see exactly what it’s like.” ALSO READ Garbine Muguruza: 'Crowd could have been more respectful sometimes'