Injury to force Sharapova out of Aegon Classic

Maria Sharapova

Because her ranking, No. 178 this week, is still too low for direct entry into main draws, Sharapova has been participating in tournaments via wild-card invitations, beginning on red clay at Stuttgart, Germany, in April.

Sharapova had missed out on a wildcard for the ongoing French Open as she continues her comeback from a 15-month doping ban.

However, the 30-year-old confirmed on Saturday that she is now set to be out of action until late July as a result of the thigh problem that forced her to retire from a second-round match in Rome last month.

Maria Sharapova is to pull out of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham because of injury.

On the same day, she suffered the thigh injury which has now sidelined her from Wimbledon for a second successive season.

Maria Sharapova - and the controversy her return to tennis has brought this year - will not be at Wimbledon.

She was still controversially handed a wildcard for the WTA grasscourt event in Birmingham later this month, a key warm-up for Wimbledon.

The five-time Grand Slam victor has not played since suffering the injury during her second-round match at the Italian Open on May 16. She revealed the news in Facebook.

Sharapova has been a lightning rod since she returned to the circuit, with several players complaining of tournaments offering her wild card entries after testing positive for PEDs.

Only two weeks ago, Wimbledon decided that the qualifying event, held at nearby Roehampton, would be broadcast for the first time.

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