Sharapova gets wildcard for Birmingham classic

Sharapova gets wildcard for Birmingham classic

The five-times grand slam champion, who recently served a 15-month doping ban, learned on Tuesday she would not be given a wildcard into the French Open, with the question over whether Wimbledon will grant her one as yet unanswered.

Maria Sharapova will not request a wildcard for the main draw of Wimbledon and will instead begin her campaign at SW19 through qualifying.

The 30-year-old was banned after testing positive for banned substance meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, with the suspension causing her to fall down the world rankings.

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

Maria Sharapova will probably have to win 10 matches to claim a second Wimbledon title this year after deciding on Friday not to request a wildcard for the championships. Sharapova said on her website.

The five-time Grand Slam victor, 30, has been given a wildcard for the event in June having fallen down the world rankings after a 15-month drugs ban.

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WTA CEO Steve Simon has attacked the French tennis federation's refusal to grant Maria Sharapova a wild-card for Roland Garros as "groundless".

The LTA's call to grant the World No.211 a free pass for the Aegon Classic, which runs from June 19-25, is likely to draw criticism from those that believe players suspended for doping should not be given privileges.

The decision will place added scrutiny on Wimbledon's decision whether to offer Sharapova a wildcard into their main draw this summer.

She will need to win three matches to earn a place in the first round of the tournament itself.

Grand Slam officials traditionally extend wild-card invitations to well-known players who have not met the qualifying requirements for reasons such as injury.

She has denied using it for any performance-enhancing goal, and an initial two-year ban was cut on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which concluded that while she committed an anti-doping violation there was "no significant fault" on her part. 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...

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