Maria Sharapova granted two-year Birmingham wild card ahead of Wimbledon decision

Maria Sharapova was granted a wild card to play in the pre-Wimbledon tournament in Birmingham on Thursday, two days after she was rejected by the French Open because of her recent doping ban.

The five-time grand slam champion said that her team did not check the updated banned substance list and hence she tested positive for the drug at the 2016 Australian Open.

Sharapova was denied a wildcard for the forthcoming French Open earlier this week, with the French Tennis Federation confirming that her doping ban had influenced their decision.

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova announced on Friday her decision of taking part in the qualifying series of the Wimbledon tournament instead of waiting for a wildcard.

"I have some great memories of playing there over the years, including winning the title on two previous occasions".

'There can be a wildcard for the return of injuries - there cannot be a wildcard for the return from doping, ' FFT chief Bernard Giudicelli Ferrandini said.

Maria Sharapova has revealed that she will attempt to secure her place at Wimbledon through the qualifying rounds rather than requesting a wildcard.




An All England Club subcommittee will meet on June 20 to decide on wild cards for the main draw.

Although Sharapova won three matches at the WTA Tour Porsche Tennis Grand Prix before Kristina Mladenovic knocked her out in the semifinals, Eugenie Bouchard bested her in the second round of the Madrid Open.

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.

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.

Sharapova needed to reach at least the semi-finals of the Italian Open to qualify for the main draw of Wimbledon 2017.

The Russian has accepted wild cards to enter all three of her tournaments since her return, attracting criticism from many players.

Sharapova has already gained direct entry into Wimbledon qualifying at the end of June. This was reduced to 15 months on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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