Maria Sharapova opts against Wimbledon wildcard request to enter qualifying

Sharapova granted Birmingham wildcard

Sharapova granted Birmingham wildcard

Maria Sharapova said Friday she will not request a wildcard for Wimbledon, instead opting to play in qualifying for the Grand Slam she won in 2004, as she returns from a doping ban.

The former world No1 had seen her odds of being given a free pass into the Wimbledon main draw drift from 1/3 to 7/4 in the wake of the French Open snub. "I am so grateful and excited to be playing the event again!" she said of the Birmingham tournament on her official website.

She will then enter the qualifying stages at Wimbledon at Roehampton which will take place between June 26th and June 29th.

In the statement, Sharapova also said that she is healing from the injury sustained in Rome a few days ago, and that she will return to training as soon as she is better.

Despite the Lawn Tennis Association welcoming her into the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, it was not a foregone conclusion that Sharapova would be afforded such treatment by Wimbledon's tennis sub-committee.

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"There's always a lot of debate about who we give wild cards to".

However her hopes of securing a wildcard are now looking slim especially after the French Open denied her enter into the tournament.

Maria Sharapova will have to win three qualifying matches to advance to Wimbledon.

While this ended her hopes of qualifying on merit for Wimbledon's main draw, a decision on whether she is granted a main draw spot will be taken on June 20, according to reports.

Sharapova, 30, recently returned from a 15-month doping ban after admitting she had used the banned hormone and metabolic modulator meldonium.

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Maria Sharapova of Russian Federation celebrates winning the singles match against Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Monday July 6.

Sharapova is one of the most marketable stars in tennis and was estimated to be worth up to $195 million back in 2016.

She was initially banned for two years but this was reduced to 15 months on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which stated she bore no "significant fault" and did not intend to cheat.

Earlier in the week, Sharapova withdrew from the second-round match of the Italian Open during the game against Croatia's Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

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