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Maria Sharapova to enter Wimbledon qualifying tournament

Maria Sharapova, of Russia, serves the ball to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, of Croatia, during the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Tuesday, May 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

LONDON (AP) — Maria Sharapova will play in the Wimbledon qualifying tournament.

The 2004 champion at the All England Club, who returned last month from a 15-month doping ban, said in a post on her website that she will not request a wild card into the main draw at Wimbledon.

"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," Sharapova wrote.

Earlier this week, Sharapova had her request for a French Open wild card rejected by Roland Garros officials.

The 30-year-old Russian retired from her second-round match at the Italian Open on Tuesday after apparently injuring her left thigh.

"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," Sharapova wrote.

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.

On Thursday, Sharapova was granted a wild card to play in the pre-Wimbledon tournament in Birmingham. The Aegon Classic begins on June 19, two weeks before Wimbledon.

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