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Maria Sharapova to enter Wimbledon qualifying tournament

19 May, 2017, 17:55 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez

Pic: ReutersFormer world number one Maria Sharapova has signed a deal with the Lawn Tennis Association to play at Birmingham's Aegon Classic for the next two years.

She is now ranked No. 211 before she went two rounds at the Italian Open this week.

Players, including No. 1s Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber, have been outspoken about Sharapova receiving free passes into events in the light of her doping ban, as opposed to coming back from an injury.

Former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova said she will not request a wildcard for this year's championships after failing to gain a high enough ranking for direct entry to the main draw.

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

She posted on Twitter after the decision: 'If this is what it takes to rise up again, then I am in it all the way, every day.

Maria Sharapova has been granted a wildcard for next month's WTA grasscourt event in Birmingham, a key Wimbledon warm-up, organisers said Thursday.

Sharapova won the title in Birmingham in 2004 and 2005, but has not competed in the tournament in seven years.

The Russian was denied a return to grand slam tennis at the French Open following her 15-month doping ban.

Sharapova was refused automatic entry to the French Open on Tuesday, with her ranking still too low to qualify by right.

Maria Sharapova returns the ball during her Rome Open match against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, May 16, 2017. But she was no match for the American in a powerful first set in which the 36-year-old broke twice whilst saving the solitary break point on her own serve.

After sitting out a provisional 15-month suspension, Sharapova, 30, made an impressive comeback last month at the tennis tournament in Stuttgart knocking out all of her opponents up to the semifinals.

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