Three tournaments into her return from a 15-month doping ban, Maria Sharapova has already gained enough rankings points to enter qualifying for Wimbledon.

The five-time Grand Slam winner took advantage of another wild card and overcame a shaky opening set to defeat 58th-ranked Christina McHale 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of the Italian Open at Rome on Monday.

The win earned Sharapova enough points to enter the top 200 of the rankings and earn at least a spot in qualifying at the All England Club.

Also, Venus Williams, the 1999 Rome champ, beat Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

 In men’s action, Olympic silver medalist Juan Martin del Potro rallied past Grigor Dimitrov 3-6, 6-2, 6-3; David Goffin beat qualifier Thomaz Bellucci 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4; and Tomas Berdych topped Australian Open quarterfinalist Mischa Zverev 7-6 (7), 6-4.

FRENCH OPEN: Roger Federer says he won’t play in Paris and instead will prepare to play on grass and hard courts later this season.


NFL: Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll said in a radio interview that the team is considering Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III as possible backup options to starting quarterback Russell Wilson.

Carroll was asked specifically about the pair of veteran quarterbacks who would seem to fit the style Seattle desires in Wilson’s backup.

“We’re looking at everybody. We really are,” Carroll said. “We’ve been tracking everything that is going on and we’ve got cap and roster issues and stuff like that that we’re trying to make sure we manage properly but quite frankly, yes, we’re looking at all those guys.”


MCILROY INJURY: Rory McIlroy says tests indicate no new injury to his back, only what he described as a “low-grade response” to his rib injury in January.

McIlroy had an MRI upon returning to Northern Ireland because of mild pain he felt during The Players Championship. He said in a statement Monday that he is entered in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth May 25-28 and will decide early next week if he can play.

The four-time major champion had a hairline rib fracture in January and missed seven weeks.


WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Defenseman Colton Parayko scored twice and center Nate Mackinnon moved atop the tournament scoring leaders with three assists as defending champion Canada beat Norway 5-0 at Paris.

Canada tops Group B with five wins in six matches.

Russia is doing even better, with six straight wins after beating Latvia 5-0 to retain the top spot in Group A ahead of the United States.

Meanwhile, France beat last-place Slovenia 4-1 in Group B and Denmark beat Italy 2-0 in Group A’s other match.


NWSL: Players from the National Women’s Soccer League whose salaries are not paid by a national federation have formed the NWSL Players Association, a first step toward creating a union.

National team players from Canada and the U.S. have their salaries paid by their federations.

Non-allocated players overwhelmingly approved a new constitution and bylaws in May, the association said. The group seeks to represent the interests of non-allocated players with the teams and the league office.