Sharapova gets wildcard for Wimbledon warm-up event

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She said she would not request a wild card for Wimbledon - although the cashed-up Grand Slam tournament would not have had the same commercial reason as Birmingham to grant her one.

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

Qualifying rounds are scheduled to be played between June 26 and 29, with Sharapova having to go through three rounds in order to get among the 128 players in the main draw for Wimbledon, which takes place from July 3 to 16.

The Russian has accepted wild cards to enter all three of her tournaments since her return, attracting criticism from many players. "I am so grateful and excited to be playing this event again!" read a statement on her official website.

Sharapova's won against Christina McHale in the first round of the Italian Open 2017 tennis tournament earlier this month, thus making it to the inaugural stages of Wimbledon or the qualifying rounds.

While this ended her hopes of qualifying on merit for Wimbledon's main draw, a decision on whether she is granted a main draw spot will be taken on June 20, according to reports.

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"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", Sharapova wrote.

"However Maria has served her ban in full and is now back playing high quality tennis". In her other two tournaments since her return from the suspension, the 2004 Wimbledon champion advanced to the Round of 32 in Madrid and to the semifinals in Stuttgart.

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

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.

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

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reduced the sanction to 15 months, saying she was not an "intentional doper".

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