Maria Sharapova pulls out of Wimbledon qualifying due to injury

Sharapova recently returned to competition after serving a drugs ban

BY Sinéad Farrell 11:47 Sunday 11 June 2017, 11:47 11 Jun 2017

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

Maria Sharapova has decided to withdraw from Wimbledon qualifying due to injury.

Sharapova only recently returned to competition after serving a 15-month doping ban, and was planning to enter the qualification process for Wimbledon after deciding not to pursue a wild card.

The 30-year-old has not played since withdrawing from her second-round match at the Italian Open in May with a thigh issue.

Writing on her Facebook account, the five-time Grand Slam champion explained that the injury is still causing her problems:

"After an additional scan, the muscle tear that I sustained in Rome will unfortunately not allow me to compete in the grass court tournaments I was scheduled to play.

"I want to thank the LTA 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. I look forward to meeting you there next year. I will continue to work on my recovery and my next scheduled tournament is in Stanford."

Sharapova reached the semi-final of the Porsche Open after making her comeback, but her return was not well received by some of her competitors.

Eugenie Bouchard, who defeated Sharapova in the Madrid Open, labelled her 'a cheat' and said that allowing Sharapova to compete 'sends the wrong message to young kids.'

Sharapova tested positive for a banned substance called meldonium. 

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