No Wimbledon wildcard for Maria Sharapova
Former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova will go through qualifying in an attempt to play at the grass-court Grand Slam after revealing on Friday that she will not apply for a wildcard.
The 30-year-old Russian, who returned last month from a 15-month doping ban, said on her website she would play in the qualifying event staged the week before.
"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," Sharapova said.
The news comes days after Sharapova was denied a wildcard for the French Open at Roland Garros and one day before a Wimbledon sub-committee was due to announce whether a wildcard would be granted for the grass-court tournament.
Sharapova will, however, attend the Aegon Classic in Birmingham two weeks prior to Wimbledon and a week before qualifying, after being granted a place at the event.
"I am really excited to be coming back to Birmingham this year to play on the grass as part of my build up to Wimbledon and I thank the LTA for this opportunity," Sharapova said after receiving the invitation on Thursday.
"I have some great memories of playing there over the years, including winning the title on two previous occasions. I am looking forward to seeing all the recent improvements the tournament has made to establish itself as one of the best grass court events in the world."