Sharapova gets wildcard for Birmingham
Maria Sharapova received a wildcard to the Wimbledon warm-up tournament in Birmingham in June.
The Aegon Classic in Birmingham offered Sharapova the chance to fine-tune her grasscourt game after she committed to appear there next year as well.
“We have received a two-year commitment from one of the most famous athletes in the world, Maria Sharapova, to play the Aegon Classic,” LTA Chief Executive Michael Downey said.
“In return we are providing Maria with a main draw wildcard for this year. This wasn’t a decision we took lightly and we recognize not everyone will agree with it.
“However Maria has served her ban in full and is now back playing high quality tennis… Now that Maria has earned direct entry into Wimbledon qualifying, we want to give British tennis fans the chance to see her compete on grass here in Britain beforehand.”
“I am really excited to be coming back to Birmingham …as part of my build-up to Wimbledon and I thank the LTA for this opportunity.” Said Sharapova.