Maria Sharapova fans will have to wait till 2019 to watch her play again. The former top-ranked Russian player has decided to finish her 2018 season by withdrawing from her remaining three tournaments due to injury and will now look to return next year in the lead-up to the Australian Open.
The 31-year-old was expected to feature at the China Open, Tianjin Open and Moscow Open but announced she would be missing each of those in order to rehabilitate from her injury problems.
Sharapova said in a statement:
“Unfortunately as I recover from my right shoulder injury, I am withdrawing from Beijing, Tianjin and Moscow,”
“I will miss competing at each of these tournaments, but it is important that I allow for proper rest and recovery in the upcoming weeks.”
Having won the title at Tianjin last year, Sharapova was expected to be a star attraction for the tournament this season as well but she will now be missing out on the five-year anniversary at the competition.
Her issues, however, were on grass and hard courts. She did not feature in the Birmingham Open because of her fitness and crashed out in round one at Wimbledon. Later she went on to miss the San Jose Open and the Cincinnati Open as well, while crashing out in round three of the Rogers Cup.
Sharapova finishes the season with a fourth round entry under her belt at the US Open, a competition she had won in 2006. Her first presence in 2019 is expected to be at the Shenzhen Open which will be played in the first week of January (check the WTA calendar here).
2019 will be Sharapova’s 17th year as a professional tennis player on the WTA circuit.