Maria Sharapova to miss Wimbledon qualifying through injury

Maria Sharapova

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam winner who is now ranked 178 in the world, had been offered a wildcard for next week’s Aegon Classic

Maria Sharapova will be unable to compete in Wimbledon qualifying at Roehampton because of injury.

The five-time Grand Slam champion has not played since retiring with a thigh problem from her second-round match at the Italian Open on 16 May.

The Russian, 30, is hoping to return at the end of July, by which time the grass court season will have ended.

She returned in April after a 15-month doping ban and had a wildcard for next week’s Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

Wimbledon qualifying at Roehampton starts on 26 June with the championships proper beginning on July 3.

As a result of missing the entire grass court season, she will not be ranked highly enough to gain direct entry into the US Open.

As at Wimbledon, she will be eligible for qualifying – but will need a wildcard from the USTA if she is to automatically make the main draw.

Sharapova, confirmed her injury news on Facebook,