Sharapova receives wild card into pre-Wimbledon tournament
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.