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Sports News | Feb 14, 2019

Shoulder Injury Forces Sharapova To Pull Out Of Indian Wells

Paul Myers - RFI
Reuters/Christian Hartmann
Reuters/Christian Hartmann

Former world number one Maria Sharapova on Thursday pulled out of next month's Indian Wells tournament due to an injury to her right shoulder. The 31-year-old Russian withdrew from the Saint Petersburg tournament at the end of January with the same problem.

The competition in California is one of the most prestigious on the circuit after the Grand Slam events and Sharapova's place in the main draw will be taken by Germany's Mona Barthel.

"The shoulder hasn't been much of a secret in the past year," said Sharapova who won the title in 2006 and 2013.

"That's been something I have been struggling with and had to shut down the season after the US Open."

Recovery

In January, Sharapova reached the last 16 at the Australian Open where she lost to the 15th seeded Australian Ashleigh Barty.

"It's still not where I want it to be," Sharapova added. "I am still working through some painful days. That's something that I have had to deal with since I was 21-years-old and really at the peak of my career."

In the 2018 Indian Wells women's final, Naomi Osaka from Japan beat the Russian Daria Kasatkina to claim her first title on the senior tour. Six months later Osaka won her second at the US Open.

Osaka claimed the Australian Open in January to become world number and the first player from Asia to hold top spot.

She also emulated Serena Williams's feats from 2015 by winning consecutive Grand Slam titles.

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