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Sharapova to play Wimbledon qualification rounds
20 May 2017, 03:29 | Charlene Valdez
The Russian, who was denied a place at the forthcoming French Open by the French Tennis Federation earlier this week, has earned enough ranking points since her return to the WTA Tour from a doping ban last month to take part in the preliminaries.
The five-time Grand Slam women's singles title victor announced today that she has made a decision to try her luck in the preliminary rounds, being played at Roehampton's Bank of England Sports Centre, of the tournament which she won in 2004 as a 17-year-old.
Sharapova was banned after testing positive for heart disease drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, though the Court of Arbitration for Sport found she was not an "intentional doper".
Russia's Maria Sharapova has confirmed she will not ask for a wildcard entry for the Wimbledon Championships, opting to compete in the qualifying rounds. Sharapova said on her website.
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.
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 30-year-old's comeback has divided opinion, with some fellow players criticising the decision to award her wildcard entries into WTA clay court tournaments in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome.
Sharapova could have secured a place in the Wimbledon main draw by right had she reached the semi-finals at the Italian Open in Rome, but she withdrew injured during a second round match against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. She has, however, received an invitation to the traditional Wimbledon warmup tournament in Birmingham, England.
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.
Grand Slam officials traditionally extend wild-card invitations to well-known players who have not met the qualifying requirements for reasons such as injury.
Sharapova will have to break new ground if she is to win Wimbledon this year as no qualifier has won the women's singles title.
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