One might have seen the last of former world number ones Maria Sharapova and Garbine Muguruza for the season.
Russia’s Sharapova has pulled out from the Upper Austria Ladies Linz tournament citing a shoulder injury, while Muguruza has opted out of any of the tournaments to follow.
The Linz Open tournament director, Sandra Reichel said:
“Of course, I’m very sorry that Maria can’t come to Linz but I understand because the health of the player has to have priority.”
Sharapova was set to return to the courts after her first-round exit to Serena Williams 6-1, 6-1 in the US Open.
The Russian has had a tough year, falling from her year-end ranking of 28 last year to 137 this year. This is the first time she has ranked outside of the top 100 since 2002. Sharapova has struggled to reach a single quarterfinal since the Shenzhen Open in early January where she lost to Aryna Sabalenka.
Sharapova was also confirmed to play in Luxembourg Open by BGL BNP Paribas which will begin on October 14. Whether Sharapova’s injury will allow her to play by them, given that she just withdrew from Linz, is a matter of speculation.
Muguruza, two-time Grand Slam winner is set to end the season early.
The Spaniard, who also lost in the first round of the US Open to Alison Riske, has struggled this year dropping down to 28 in world rankings. She lost first-round matches at the US Open, China Open, Japan Women’s Open, Cincinnati Masters and Wimbledon.
She had earlier parted with her coach of four years Sam Sumyk after her first-round loss at Wimbledon.
While when asked about her struggles, Muguruza said the motivation remains the same, her game has been suffering drastically. Her focus will now be on the 2020 season when she returns with an aim to push for the latter stages of the Australian Open.
Hopefully, a new season will mean a more consistent, stronger game for the former world No.1.