Maria Sharapova to enter Wimbledon qualifying tournament

Maria Sharapova to enter Wimbledon qualifying tournament

Maria Sharapova has chosen to enter Wimbledon's qualifying stages rather than request a wildcard for the tournament as she continues to return from a 15-month drug ban.

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.

Sharapova was handed a two-year ban after testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

LTA chief executive Michael Downey, who is to step down this summer, said: "We have received a two-year commitment from one of the most famous athletes in the world, Maria Sharapova, to play the Aegon Classic Birmingham".

Her decision takes the heat off the Wimbledon wildcard committee which meets on June 20 and could technically still offer her automatic entry into the main draw.

Maria Sharapova, of Russian Federation, serves the ball to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, of Croatia, during the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Tuesday, May 16, 2017. 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...

More news: Police officer overdoses and almost dies after accidentally touching fentanyl

Organisers at the French Open confirmed on Tuesday that they would not hand Sharapova a place at Roland Garros, with French Tennis Federation president Bernard Guidicelli insisting "then there can not be a wild card for return from doping".

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.

There had been question marks over whether she would even be fit enough to take part at Wimbledon after retiring against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in Rome but her acceptance of the wildcard to the event in Edgbaston, which starts on June 17, is a sign that the injury is not serious.

As revealed by The Times last week, the LTA have given Sharapova one of the four available wild cards after her ranking of No 258 on May 8 was too low to gain direct entry.

She was initially banned for two years but this was reduced to 15 months on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which stated she bore no "significant fault" and did not intend to cheat.

Related Articles

  • Jones excited by WC draw

    Holders New Zealand were bracketed with South Africa and Italy , while hosts Japan got a kinder draw against Ireland and Scotland. You've got to beat good teams and we've got two big games against France and Argentina .
    McDonald's UberEats Delivery Service Spreads Nationally

    McDonald's UberEats Delivery Service Spreads Nationally

    Learn more at http://changeisheremcdsocal.com/ and follow us on Instagram @mcdonalds_socal and Twitter @McDonalds_SoCal. All first time UberEATS users can score $5 off their order now through Dec 31 using promo code MCDSMILE.

    With Merkel and PM, France's new president wastes no time

    Mr Macron is France's youngest leader since Napoleon and the first to be born after 1958, when a presidential system was set up. Philippe has worked in the private sector, including for French nuclear giant Areva and an American law firm.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7R gets Bluetooth certification as launch draws close

    Samsung Galaxy Note 7R gets Bluetooth certification as launch draws close

    While Galaxy S8 managed to get a score of 88, it failed to beat the top Photo score of 89 garnered by Pixel smartphone. The phablets which have previously come out from Samsung had a display of more than 5 inches in dimension.
    Armed rebels in C. African Republic city agree to leave

    Armed rebels in C. African Republic city agree to leave

    More than 400,000 people in the former French colony are displaced internally and 2.2 million, or almost half the population, are reliant on aid.
    Tehran's mayor drops out of Iran election to back hard-liner

    Tehran's mayor drops out of Iran election to back hard-liner

    Raisi called Qalibaf's decision "revolutionary", the conservative news agency Tasnim reported the cleric as saying on Monday. It is increasingly hard for Rouhani to sell the deal to voters now given Trump's rhetoric.
  • Former entertainer Rolf Harris released from prison on bail over groping charges

    Former entertainer Rolf Harris released from prison on bail over groping charges

    Australian entertainer Rolf Harris will be released from prison on bail in the United Kingdom today. Another witness told the court she was "in shock" after Harris allegedly touched her right breast.

    Ford likely to cut its Asian and N American workforce by 10%

    As Reuters further points out, Ford's strategic plans to reduce its workforce by 10 percent may not sit well with U.S. Ford Motor Co. has announced about 1,400 job cuts coming this summer, all of those expected to be salaried employees.
    World's biggest cyberattack hits 150 countries, the threat is 'escalating'

    World's biggest cyberattack hits 150 countries, the threat is 'escalating'

    These are all names for the world's largest ever ransomware development, in which 150 countries hosted more than 200,000 attacks. At the moment, all PCs that do not have the latest Microsoft security updates are vulnerable to attack by the ransomware.
  • Supreme Court reserves verdict on Triple Talaq

    Supreme Court reserves verdict on Triple Talaq

    Citing examples, Khurshid told the court that the Triple Talaq practice can not be validated constitutionally. Meanwhile, the bench also questioned the AIMPLB on the position of e-divorce given on WhatsApp in Islam.

    Bradley Beal flops after screen from Celtics

    Porter's short floater from the lane gave him 12 points in the half, a big improvement from his scoreless performance in game 6. The Wizards were 7-0 in the playoffs when allowing under 110 points, but they fell to 0-6 when giving up more than 110.

    Ray Parlour urges Arsene Wenger to sign Alexis Sanchez

    We have 69 points today - let's make it 72 on Tuesday [when Arsenal host Sunderland], and after that I will give my best as long as I am here for the values of this club.