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Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Maria Sharapova makes Edgbaston return

Maria Sharapova
Sharapova has not won a Grand Slam since the Australian Open in 2008

Maria Sharapova has again committed to play at the Aegon Classic at Edgbaston Priory this summer as part of her preparation for this year's Wimbledon.

Her appearance at the event will be the former Wimbledon champion's eighth in the last nine years.

"I'm excited to be playing once again," said Sharapova, 23. "It's one of my favourite pre-slam tournaments.

"I always get such a warm welcome in Birmingham at the event and from the people in the city."

The world number 13 has won the event twice, in 2004 (when she also went on to win Wimbledon) and 2005.

She was also beaten finalist at the Priory in 2007 and 2010.

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