Maria Sharapova to be given Birmingham wildcard

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova will be offered a wildcard entry into next month’s Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

The move has the approval of outgoing LTA chief executive Michael Downey.

Asked about the issue on Tuesday, World Number 1 Andy Murray commented: “They’ve obviously done what they think is right for that event and maybe haven’t thought as much about the wider implications of it.”

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Maria Sharapova has not played at a Wimbledon warm-up tournament since she reached the final in Birmingham in 2010.

Maria Sharapova presence in the field is likely to increase ticket sales at a tournament that is always overshadowed by the ATP tournament at The Queen’s Club in the same week.

The LTA will expect criticism for their decision, which appears to have been made purely on commercial grounds.


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