Sharapova made to wait over Wimbledon wildcard

Russia’s Maria Sharapova
Picture: Reuters

Wimbledon chiefs will wait until June 20, just days ahead of the qualifying event, before deciding whether to give a wildcard to former champion Maria Sharapova as she steps up her return from a doping ban.

The Russian, who won Wimbledon in 2004, made her return to competitive tennis at the Stuttgart Open last week following a positive test for meldonium at last year’s Australian Open.

She admitted taking the drug, but said her only mistake was not realising the substance had been added to the banned list at the start of last year.

Sharapova was handed a two-year suspension, which was reduced to 15 months on appeal, and she was a wildcard entry in Stuttgart.

The 30-year-old won three matches in Stuttgart before losing in the semifinals and this week re-entered the WTA rankings at a lowly 262.

As a result, the five-time grand slam champion has to rely on wildcards from tournaments to enter leading WTA tournaments.

“We have a long established process for awarding wildcards. We consider requests for wildcards two weeks before the tournament,” All England Club chief executive Richard Lewis said yesterday.

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