Injured Sharapova pulls out of Wimbledon, grass circuit
PARIS: Maria Sharapova is skipping the grass-court season and will not try to qualify for Wimbledon because she has not recovered from an injured left thigh.
The five-time major champion and former No. 1-ranked player announced Saturday in a posting on her official Facebook account that "an additional scan" showed that the muscle tear she got at the Italian Open last month will not allow her to return to competition yet.
"I will continue to work on my recovery," her message said.
The agency that represents Sharapova confirmed that she will be sidelined until what she called her "next scheduled event," the hard-court tournament in Stanford, California, that begins on July 31.
Sharapova recently returned to the tour after a 15-month doping ban. She tested positive for the newly banned drug meldonium at the Australian Open in January 2016.
Because her ranking, No. 178 this week, is still too low for direct entry into main draws, Sharapova has been participating in tournaments via wild-card invitations, beginning on red clay at Stuttgart, Germany, in April. She received a wild card for the grass-court event at Birmingham, England, which begins on June 19, but will now have to miss that tournament.
The 30-year-old Russian was denied a wild card for the French Open, which she has won twice.
The women's final in Paris was Saturday, with unseeded Jelena Ostapenko beating Simona Halep in three sets for the title. Just two days past her 20th birthday, Ostapenko was the youngest woman to win a Grand Slam championship since Sharapova was 19 at the 2006 U.S. Open.
Two years before that, at 17, Sharapova won her first major title at Wimbledon. She has since completed a career Grand Slam and become one of the most recognizable — and marketable — athletes in the world.
Sharapova had been planning to enter qualifying this year for Wimbledon, where main-draw play starts on July 3.