Maria Sharapova denied wildcard place at French Open

Sharapova will have to win through three qualifying rounds to earn a spot in Wimbledon's 128-strong main draw.

That match came less than an hour after the FFT turned her down for Roland Garros, saying it would be wrong to hand a wildcard to a player returning from a doping suspension.

In a statement on her website, titled "An update on my grass court tournament schedule", Sharapova said: "A few months ago, I received a wild card offer from Birmingham, one of my most memorable tournaments as a young player".

Since the end of her ban, Sharapova has used wild-card entries to play three events on the WTA Tour to get her world ranking up to a level where she can automatically enter anywhere again.

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.

The now 30-year old is currently ranked 211, below the cutoff for direct entry into the Wimbledon main draw.

The British No.1 was facing the American for the first time since March, when victory sent her into the Miami final.

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova announced on Friday her decision of taking part in the qualifying series of the Wimbledon tournament instead of waiting for a wildcard.

"She has complied with the sanctions imposed", he said.

The Russian returned to competitive action in April after serving a 15-month ban for failing a drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open.

The former world No. 1 reached the Stuttgart Open semifinals last month before losing to Eugenie Bouchard in the round of 32 in Madrid and retiring with a thigh injury in Rome.

"I decided not to give Maria Sharapova a wild card", French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli.

Grand Slam officials traditionally extend wild-card invitations to well-known players who have not met the qualifying requirements for reasons such as injury. Madison Keys took the title previous year, while Sharapova's two triumphs came in 2004 and 2005.

  • Julie Sanders