Maria Sharapova ends Wimbledon wildcard speculation by entering Roehampton qualifying tournament

Joe Hall
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Sharapova Wimbledon
Sharapova will fight to earn her place at Wimbledon through qualifying (Source: Getty)

Maria Sharapova will not request a wildcard draw into Wimbledon and will instead attempt to earn a spot at the All England Club by coming through three qualifying rounds.

After serving a 15-month suspension for using the banned substance meldonium, the former Wimbledon winner is ranked 211th in the world and does not have enough points to make the tournament's main draw.

Sharapova was denied a wildcard entry for the French Open earlier this week with French tennis authorities explaining that while special dispensation was granted to former top players returning from lengthy injuries, the same courtesy did not extent to players returning from doping bans.

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The 30-year-old, whose chances of climbing high enough up the Women's Tennis Association rankings to make the automatic Wimbledon draw were scotched when she pulled out of this week's Italian Open with injury, has decided to take matters into her own hands by attempting to win the Roehampton qualifying tournament.

"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 wild card in the main draw," the Russian said in a statement.

Sharapova would have made the cut for SW19 had she reached the Italian Open semi-finals, but she was forced to retire from her second round match due to a thigh injury.

"I have already started getting treatment on the injury I sustained a few days ago in Rome and will begin my preparation as soon as I get better," she said.

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