London, May 20: Former World number one and five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova has chosen to enter Wimbledon's qualifying stages rather than requesting for a wildcard for the tournament as she continues to return from a 15-month drug ban.
The 30-year-old was banned from Tennis after testing positive for banned substance Meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, with the suspension causing her to fall down the world rankings.
The Russian Tennis beauty was denied a wildcard for the forthcoming French Open earlier this week, with the French Tennis Federation confirming that her doping ban had influenced their decision.
Having elected not to request a wildcard for Wimbledon, Sharapova will have to progress through three qualifying rounds to play in SW19’s main draw.
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. I am so grateful and excited to be playing this event again!
"Because of my improved ranking after the first three tournaments of my return, I will also be playing the qualifying of Wimbledon in Roehampton, and will not be requesting a wild card into the main draw.
"I have already started getting treatment on the injury I sustained a few days ago in Rome, and will begin my preparation as soon I get better."
The whole Tennis world is eagerly waiting for the 30-year-old to get back to the court. The French Tennis Federation’s decision of not allowing her a wildcard into French Open proved to be a disheartening instance for fans of the Russian all around the globe.
Now that she is focused on making her way to Wimbledon via qualifiers, it is nothing but exciting for her fans who will hope to see her back in court in the biggest major.