Maria Sharapova is closing in on the French Open qualifiers after reaching the Porsche Grand Prix semi-final in Stuttgart.

The Russian returned from a 15-month suspension and is taking part in her first event since testing positive for meldonium, having yet to drop a set in Germany so far with her latest 6-3, 6-4 win over Estonia's Anett Kontaveit on Friday (28 April).

There has been a lot of talk about the French Open and whether Sharapova will receive a wild card for the second Grand Slam of the year.

Previously, the French Tennis Federation (FTT) said the former Wimbledon champion will find out if she will receive a wild card on the week of 15 May.

However, if Sharapova defeats Kristina Mladenovic on Saturday (29 April), she will crack the top 200 of the tennis rankings which would be enough for her to automatically make qualifying in Roland Garros.

Following her win over Kontaveit, the 30-year-old spoke of adjusting to her opponent and gaining confidence as the game went on.

"I thought I had a really good rhythm," she said, as quoted on The Guardian. "When you don't know your opponent too well, the first six games we were trying to figure each other out but holding serve quite comfortably."

"When I got the opportunity I felt I really rolled with it and gained confidence from it."

Sharapova also responded to comments from Genie Bouchard, who branded her as a cheater and believes she should not be allowed to play the sport again.

"I don't have anything to say," Sharapova retorted. "I am way above that."