Report: Maria Sharapova may need to qualify for French Open

Maria Sharapova's aim to play in the French Open is likely to be more complicated than she had hoped.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Sharapova will not get an automatic bid into the main draw but could be granted a wild card into qualifying. She would have to win three matches just to make the main draw at Roland Garros.

"We will have to reflect on it," French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli said to the Telegraph. "[It] is about an important topic like doping."

The decision on whether to allow Sharapova a free pass into the upcoming clay tournaments has been controversial.

Many players have spoken up against granting Sharapova, a two-time French Open winner, special privileges because of her name recognition or pedigree.

On Wednesday, Sharapova is playing at the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart on the first day she is eligible after serving a 15-month ban for taking an illegal drug. Her opponent, Roberta Vinci, said Sharapova is undeserving of getting a wild card.

Tuesday, Simona Halep and Alize Cornet joined players in criticizing tournament organizers for offering Sharapova a direct spot in their main draws.

"For the kids, for the young players, it is not OK to help with a wild card the player that was banned for doping,'' said the fifth-ranked Halep, adding that "it is not about Maria Sharapova here, but it is about all the players that are found doped.''

"I cannot support what the tournament director did, but also I cannot judge,'' Halep said.

Cornet told the French sports daily L'Equipe: "Generally speaking, I find it shameful that the WTA is promoting a player who tested positive after all. It's normal that people talk about her, she's an immense champion, but from there to promoting her return to such an extent ... I find that unjust."

Sharapova could also qualify for the main draw of Roland Garros if she accumulates enough points over the next few events.

Giudicelli said he will have a decision on Sharapova's French Open wild-card hopes the week of May 15. The event begins May 28.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.