Maria Sharapova pulls out of Wimbledon qualifying with injury

    Story highlights

    • Sharapova suffered thigh injury in Rome
    • Denied a wildcard at French Open after doping ban ended
    • Russian decided to enter Wimbledon qualifying
    • Will need a wildcard to play at the US Open

    (CNN)Maria Sharapova will have to wait until the US Open in August -- at the earliest -- to return to grand slam action after the Russian star pulled out of Wimbledon qualifying due to injury.

    Sharapova came back to the tennis tour in April after a 15-month doping ban but with her ranking not yet good enough to make the main draw needed a wildcard to enter the ongoing French Open.
      But after being denied that wildcard by the French tennis federation, the five-time grand slam winner -- and world's richest female athlete for most of the past decade -- decided to enter Wimbledon qualifying in the final week of June instead of requesting a main-draw wildcard.
      However the thigh injury she sustained at the Italian Open in May hasn't sufficiently healed.
      She will also miss the Aegon Classic in Birmingham in the middle of June -- a tournament where she was given a wildcard -- but plans to be back in Stanford, California in late July.
      The US Open will now have to decide whether to hand her a wildcard.
      "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 on her Facebook page.
      "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."
      Even if she returns to full health, Sharapova will still need the wildcard to get into the US Open because her current ranking of 178th will be too low to land a direct spot by the time the entry deadline comes in the middle of July, before Stanford starts.
      Without Sharapova in the draw, Jelena Ostapenko won the women's title at the French Open on Saturday, becoming the first unseeded women's champion at Roland Garros in the Open Era.