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Sharapova to pull out of Aegon Classic

Maria Sharapova is to pull out of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham because of injury. The five-time Grand Slam champion has not played since retiring…

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

The five-time Grand Slam champion has not played since retiring injured from her second-round match at the Italian Open with a thigh problem on 16 May.

Sharapova, who returned from a 15-month drug ban in April, had been offered a wildcard for the event from 17 June.

The Russian, 30, is due to contest the Wimbledon qualifying competition in Roehampton, which begins on 26 June.

A source told the BBC that official confirmation of Sharapova’s Birmingham withdrawal is expected in the next few days.

She is currently ranked 178 in the world, having fallen out of the top 500 since testing positive for heart disease drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

Sharapova was denied a wildcard for the French Open, with tournament officials saying her doping suspension counted against her.

Lawn Tennis Association chief executive Michael Downey previously acknowledged the decision to grant Sharapova a wildcard for Birmingham would divide opinion.

 

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