Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Sharapova says won't request wildcard for Wimbledon main draw


Qualifying rounds are scheduled to be played between June 26 and 29, with Sharapova having to go through three rounds in order to get among the 128 players in the main draw for Wimbledon, which takes place from July 3 to 16.

Sharapova first burst onto the scene by winning Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004.

The former World No 1 tennis player recently returned to competitive tennis after a 15 month drugs ban.

In a statement on her website, titled "An update on my grass court tournament schedule", Sharapova said: "A few months ago, I received a wild card offer from Birmingham, one of my most memorable tournaments as a young player".

Maria Sharapova has been granted a wildcard for next month's WTA grasscourt event in Birmingham, a key Wimbledon warm-up, organisers said Thursday.

Sharapova has accumulated enough points already to enter Wimbledon qualifying but an All England Club sub-committee will meet on June 20 to decide which players will be fast-tracked into the first round proper.

Earlier, Sharapova was granted a wildcard to play in the pre-Wimbledon tournament in Birmingham, two days after she was rejected by the French Open because of her recent doping ban.

"In return we are providing Maria with a main draw wildcard for this year".

Maria Sharapova, of Russian Federation, serves the ball to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, of Croatia, during the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Tuesday, May 16, 2017. This wasn't a decision we took lightly and we recognise not everyone will agree with it.

Sharapova could have secured a place in the Wimbledon main draw by right had she reached the semi-finals at the Italian Open in Rome, but she withdrew injured during a second round match against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. And I have many'.

The 30-year-old, whose chances of climbing high enough up the Women's Tennis Association rankings to make the automatic Wimbledon draw were scotched when she pulled out of this week's Italian Open with injury, has made a decision to take matters into her own hands by attempting to win the Roehampton qualifying tournament.

She has denied using it for any performance-enhancing objective, and an initial two-year ban was cut on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which concluded that while she committed an anti-doping violation there was "no significant fault" on her part.

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