Sport

Maria Sharapova takes wildcard decision out of Wimbledon´s hands

Maria Sharapova takes wildcard decision out of Wimbledon´s hands

Since returning from her 15-month doping ban last month, Sharapova has played in three events on the WTA tour in an attempt to get her world ranking to a level where she can automatically enter into any event, including the Grand Slams, once again.

Sharapova was denied a wildcard entry for the French Open earlier this week with French tennis authorities explaining that while special dispensation was granted to former top players returning from lengthy injuries, the same courtesy did not extent to players returning from doping bans.

However, she won her first round fixture at the Rome Masters this week which assures a place in the qualifying tournament before Wimbledon.

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

Sharapova will need to win three matches in the Wimbledon qualifying to land a spot in the main draw.

The five-time Grand Slam champions returned to competitions in April and competed in tournaments in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome.

Maria Sharapova retired from her Italian Open match citing an apparent left thigh injury hours after learning she would not be granted a wild card into the French Open.




The LTA confirmed on Thursday that it has handed Sharapova a place in the main draw for the Wimbledon warm-up event at the Edgbaston Priory Club from June 19 to 25.

The tennis player was initially set to serve a two-year suspension for violating anti-doping regulations starting January 26, 2016.

The French Open draw was already missing one of its biggest stars as the pregnant Serena Williams takes time out before the birth of her first child.

The All England Club's tennis sub-committee - which is due to make a decision on all Wimbledon wild cards on June 20 - has always been known to be sceptical about Sharapova's case.

Her ban was later reduced to 15-months following a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Any wild card for Sharapova, who was Wimbledon champion as a 17-year-old in 2004, would have divided opinion.


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