Maria Sharapova.

Maria Sharapova announces major setback on Facebook

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Maria Sharapova has faced a lukewarm reception since returning to the tour from a 15-month doping ban in April.

The five-time Grand Slam champion has received wildcards for events in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome but saw her comeback halted when the French Tennis Federation denied her a place at the French Open.

Her fortunes took another blow when she was forced to cut short her clay court season after retiring hurt during her second-round match against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni at the Italian Open.

Sharapova then opted to focus on playing her way into the qualifying rounds of the next major – Wimbledon – through warm-up tournaments during the grass court season.

She had accepted a main draw wildcard at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham – providing the world No. 178 with a relatively achievable route to the Championships.

However, the 30-year-old has been made to abandon those plans following a setback that could derail the rest of her year.

Sharapova has announced her withdrawal from Birmingham and any other grass events due to the thigh injury she suffered in Rome being more serious than it first appeared.

The Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2017 - Day Two

Six days prior to day one at the Edgbaston Priory Club, the Russian ruled herself out of the entire grass court season via a statement on her official Facebook page.

“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,” Sharapova said.

“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.”

Despite expecting to be back on the court by the end of July, Sharapova won’t be ranked high enough to secure a place in the main draw of even the US Open.

That leaves her fate in the hands of tournament officials, who will have to determine whether she is worthy of being offered a wild card at the final grand slam of the year.

Should Sharapova be offered a wild card at the US Open? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!

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Maria Sharapova
Novak Djokovic
US Open Tennis
Andy Murray
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer

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