Former world number one and multiple Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova has decided not to participate in this year’s Indian Wells Open because of a shoulder injury.
Sharapova’s struggles with her right shoulder have been well-known in the recent past with the Russian having withdrawn from the St. Petersburg Open as well last week. According to the BNP Paribas Open organisers, it has been the same issue that has prompted her withdrawal.
Her place in the main draw will be taken by Germany’s Mona Barthel.
Sharapova is a two-time winner at the Indian Wells Open, having clinched the title in 2006 and 2013, while being the runner-up in the 2012 edition. The five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova also made it to round four of the Australian Open earlier this year but fell to Ash Barty in the round of 16 despite winning the first set of their encounter.
Speaking at the end of her Australian Open campaign, Sharapova had admitted her shoulder problem wasn’t a secret and was the reason she couldn’t compete after her US Open campaign last season.
She had said the problems hadn’t totally gone away and that she had a few painful days she needed to manage.
“I saw [my doctor] at the beginning of December, and he says it’s a day-by-day pain management situation. It’s definitely been an issue for the majority of last year and going into this year, as well, but it’s something that…I’m still working through.”
She had earlier got past arch-rival and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki in their third round encounter.
The Indian Wells Open will be played between March 4 and 17 this year at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.