Ailing Sharapova won't try for Wimbledon spot
- Jan-Jaap Abbink
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An anticipated return of Maria Sharapova to the All England Club will have to wait another year.
The five-time Grand Slam champion announced Saturday on Facebook that after an additional scan, the left thigh injury she suffered in Rome won't allow her to play this grass-court season, including Wimbledon.
"I want to thank the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) for their amazing support on my return and providing me with a Birmingham wild card, a tournament which I hope many of you will be able to attend," she wrote.
Sharapova was scheduled to play the qualifying rounds at Wimbledon, as she had accumulated enough rankings points for direct entry. Soon after the French Tennis Federation denied her entry into Roland Garros, Sharapova said she was forgoing any requests for a main-card invitation into the All England Club and would instead earn her way in.
Sharapova, who won Wimbledon in 2004 when she was 17, has played three events since she came back from a 15-month doping ban. She reached the semis in her first tournament at Stuttgart but won only a single match in Madrid and Rome, where she withdrew in the third set against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni because of the thigh injury.
In her Facebook statement Saturday, Sharapova wrote that her next scheduled tournament will be at Stanford, California, which begins July 31.