Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sports | By Angel Morales

Sharapova opts for Wimbledon qualification rounds over wildcard

Sharapova opts for Wimbledon qualification rounds over wildcard

Early previous year, Sharapova announced that doping tests revealed the presence of the banned performance enhancing drug, meldonium, in her body.

On Tuesday, two-times French Open champion Sharapova was unexpectedly snubbed by organisers who decided against giving her a wildcard into the main draw or the qualifying event of this year's tournament, which begins on May 28.

Maria Sharapova announces that she will attempt to secure her place at Wimbledon through the qualifying round rather than requesting a wildcard.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has accepted a request from Maria Sharapova to play at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham next month. The Edgbaston Priory Club is a venue at which she has previously performed well, winning the event in 2004 - before going on to become Wimbledon champion at...

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"This wasn't a decision we took lightly and we recognize not everyone will agree with it, however Maria has served her ban in full and is now back playing high-quality tennis", Downey said.

It meant she needed a favor from the French Tennis Federation (FFT) but in an unexpected development, especially as the French Open is already without pregnant Serena Williams and resting Roger Federer, it took a moral stand that will please some of her rivals but could hit the tournament's ratings.

Her ranking, at No. 211 before she went two rounds at the Italian Open this week, was not good enough to make the French Open qualifying draw but good enough for Wimbledon qualifying.

The five-time grand slam tournament victor will climb into the top 200 on Monday, high enough to earn a trip to London, albeit for a Wimbledon match programme that will begin earlier than usual. Wimbledon's website states wild cards are typically offered "on the basis of past performance at Wimbledon or to increase British interest".

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Sharapova will also be at the tournament next year, with the event seen as one of the build-ups to Wimbledon.

She was initially banned for two years for using meldonium, with the penalty later reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which ruled she was not an intentional doper.

Sharapova needed to reach at least the semi-finals of the Italian Open to qualify for the main draw of Wimbledon 2017.

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