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Maria Sharapova will not request Wimbledon wildcard and to enter through qualifying

The Independent logo The Independent 19/05/2017 Mark Critchley

Sharapova © Reuters Sharapova Maria Sharapova has chosen to enter Wimbledon’s qualifying stages rather than request a wildcard for the tournament as she continues to return from a 15-month drug ban.

The 30-year-old was banned after testing positive for banned substance meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, with the suspension causing her to fall down the world rankings.

Sharapova was denied a wildcard for the forthcoming French Open earlier this week, with the French Tennis Federation confirming that her doping ban had influenced their decision.

Having elected not to request a wildcard for Wimbledon, Sharapova will have to progress through three qualifying rounds to play in SW19’s main draw.

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. I am so grateful and excited to be playing this event again!

“Because of my improved ranking after the first three tournaments of my return, I will also be playing the qualifying of Wimbledon in Roehampton, and will not be requesting a wild card into the main draw.

“I have already started getting treatment on the injury I sustained a few days ago in Rome, and will begin my preparation as soon I get better.”

Additional reporting by PA


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