Sharapova to play in Birmingham Classic

LONDON Fri Jun 8, 2007 3:57pm BST

In this file picture, Russia's Maria Sharapova hits a return to Serbia's Ana Ivanovic during the semi-finals of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris June 7, 2007. Sharapova will play at next week's Birmingham Classic after accepting a wildcard for the Wimbledon warm-up event, the Lawn Tennis Association said on Friday. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

In this file picture, Russia's Maria Sharapova hits a return to Serbia's Ana Ivanovic during the semi-finals of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris June 7, 2007. Sharapova will play at next week's Birmingham Classic after accepting a wildcard for the Wimbledon warm-up event, the Lawn Tennis Association said on Friday.

Credit: Reuters/Vincent Kessler

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LONDON (Reuters) - World number two Maria Sharapova will play at next week's Birmingham Classic after accepting a wildcard for the Wimbledon warm-up event, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) said on Friday.

The 20-year-old Russian, who was beaten in the French Open semi-finals by Serb Ana Ivanovic on Thursday, won the grasscourt event in Birmingham in 2004 -- the same year she won Wimbledon -- and 2005.

The other beaten Roland Garros semi-finalist, Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, will also play in Birmingham.

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