New Zealand's top ranked tennis player Marina Erakovic has joined the chorus of players criticising the decision to give Maria Sharapova a wildcard into this week's WTA tournament in Stuttgart.
The former world number one has completed her 15 month doping ban and returned to action the day after the ban ended at the Porsche Cup in Stuttgart this morning.
Sharapova has won her first round match 7-5, 6-3 over Italian Roberta Vinci.
She has also been granted wildcards into the lucrative Madrid and Rome clay court events.
However the French Federation will only decide on May 16 whether to grant her a main draw wildcard into the year's second grand slam at Roland Garros. It's understood to be considering whether to offer her a wildcard into qualifying instead.
Erakovic doesn't think Sharapova should be allowed a free passage back into top level tennis.
"It does bug me, it's not just me I think there are a lot of players out there who don't think its right" Erakovic said.
However the Kiwi can also understand the view of tournament organisers.
"At the end of the day she did her time and from perspective tennis is a business and Marina Sharapova is a past champion, multiple Grand Slam champion winner so for tournaments it's in her interest that she plays so they can sell tickets."
Erakovic meanwhile is back in Auckland recuperating from niggling back and neck injuries after struggling for form during the US hard court swing.
"I had a little bit of a neck injury that's taking too long to settle and I had a back issue and also a viral problem in Miami. So it hasn't been the best time for me over the last month and a half." Erakovic said.
The 29-year-old hasn't won a main draw WTA tour level match this year and her ranking is languishing outside the top 100, currently 104. However she has confirmed she has direct entry into the main draw at next month's French Open with her ranking just inside the cut off which is made six weeks before the start of the tournament.
Erakovic will pocket more than $50,000 even if she loses in the first round in Paris with the FFT announcing a 12 per cent increase in prize money for this year's tournament.
It's a big boost for the Kiwi who will play just one WTA tournament in the lead up to Roland Garros next month on clay in Nurnberg.
"It's been tough these last four or five months but I've been through a lot worse and am still out there playing and am still main draw of the French Open. So there are still a lot of positives to look at and I wouldn't keep going if I didn't believe I am playing good tennis." Erakovic said.
"It's an opportunity to play well and I love the French Open and the clay is a surface I really like and being at a Grand Slam often brings out the best in you."
Erakovic leaves for Europe on the 14th of May.