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Sharapova signs two-year deal to play at Birmingham

Maria Sharapova

Former world number one Maria Sharapova has signed a deal with the Lawn Tennis Association to play at Birmingham’s Aegon Classic for the next two years.

The five-time Grand Slam winner, 30, has been given a wildcard for the event in June having fallen down the world rankings after a 15-month drugs ban.

The LTA will not pay the Russian an appearance fee.