Sharapova re­ceives wild card into pre-Wim­ble­don tour­na­ment

Cape Breton Post - - Sports -

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.

Sharapova com­mit­ted to the Ae­gon Clas­sic for this year and next year in re­turn for a wild card, Bri­tish Lawn Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Downey said.

“This wasn’t a de­ci­sion we took lightly and we rec­og­nize not ev­ery­one will agree with it, how­ever Maria has served her ban in full and is now back play­ing high-qual­ity ten­nis,” Downey said.

The Ae­gon Clas­sic be­gins on June 19, two weeks be­fore Wim­ble­don. Sharapova won the ti­tle in Birm­ing­ham in 2004 and 2005. She has not com­peted in the tour­na­ment for seven years.

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