Maria Sharapova to go through Wimbledon qualifying

Ross Houston
May 26, 2017

Maria Sharapova announced Friday that she would not request one of the eight wild-card invitations to Wimbledon and instead will attempt to qualify her way into the Grand Slam event.

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 chose to take matters into her own hands by attempting to win the Roehampton qualifying tournament.

The 2004 champion is now ranked 211 in the world, below the cut-off for direct entry, but her first-round win at this week's Italian Open means she is assured of a place in the qualifying tournament, played a few miles away from Wimbledon.


Sharapova could have secured a place in the Wimbledon main draw by right had she reached the semi-finals at the Italian Open in Rome, but she withdrew injured during a second round match against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

She received wild-card entries to all three events she has played in since her suspension concluded. "I am so grateful and excited to be playing this event again!"

Maria Sharapova of Russian Federation relaxes during a pause of her match against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Tuesday, May 16, 2017.


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.

Italian Open organizers were the first to offer Sharapova a wild card, and they were criticized for not giving one to former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, an Italian. The Lawn Tennis Association Chief Executive Michael Downey admitted 'this wasn't a decision we took lightly and we recognise not everyone will agree with it, however Maria has served her ban in full and is now back playing high quality tennis. But Sharapova, a two-time victor at Roland Garros, probably knows it better than anyone else that her dreams of making a strong comeback will take a lot to realise.

The five-time Grand Slam champions returned to competitions in April and competed in tournaments in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome. I read very carefully articles 100 and 101 of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which reduced the length of your ban.


The Russian also allayed fears about a thigh injury that saw her retire from this week's Rome Masters.

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