Sharapova to play Wimbledon qualifiers after opting against wildcard

PARIS May19: 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 Russian former world number one was this week refused a wildcard for the French Open following her 15-month ban for taking meldonium.

“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 wildcard into the main draw,” said Sharapova on her website. The 30-year-old was controversially handed a wildcard for next month's WTA grasscourt event in Birmingham, a key warm-up for Wimbledon with eight of the world's top 10 set to take part, including world number one Angelique Kerber.

“A few months ago I received a wildcard 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!” she said. AFP


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