Maria Sharapova to play Wimbledon qualifiers rather than requesting wild card

Maria Sharapova has announced she will not seek a wild card into Wimbledon's main draw and will instead play the qualifying rounds to secure her place.

The Russian was denied a return to grand slam tennis at the French Open following her 15-month doping ban. The French Tennis Federation this week decided against offering her a wild card either to the main draw or to qualifying.

Now Sharapova has taken the decision on whether to give her a Wimbledon main draw wild card out of the hands of organisers by backing herself to come through the preliminaries, which take place at Roehampton in the week leading up to the grass-court major.

In a statement on her website, titled 'An update on my grass court tournament schedule', Sharapova said: "A few months ago, I received a wild card offer from Birmingham, one of my most memorable tournaments as a young player. I am so grateful and excited to be playing this event again!

"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 into the main draw.

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

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