Maria Sharapova withdraws from Western and Southern Open due to lingering forearm injury

Five-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one Maria Sharapova has announced her withdrawal from the Western and Southern Open held in Cincinnati due to a left forearm injury sustained in Stanford weeks ago, much to the disappointment of her fans.

Maria Sharapova withdraws from Western and Southern Open due to lingering forearm injury
Maria Sharapova looks on during her appearance at the Bank of the West Classic | Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images North America

Maria Sharapova has just announced her withdrawal from the Western and Southern Open due to an ongoing left forearm injury sustained at the Bank of the West Classic. Sharapova also withdrew from the Rogers Cup due to the same injury, which first affected her back in 2015 and causing her to take a three-month break from the sport.

Former champion was due to be part of a blockbuster match

The 2011 champion was originally due to face the French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in a must-watch first round match, a battle between youth and experience and an encounter between two Roland Garros champions. This match-up was being hyped up by tennis fans all around the world, but the devastating news struck in on Saturday evening as Sharapova was forced to withdraw from the tournament where her last appearance came in 2014.

Maria Sharapova in her last appearance at the Western and Southern Open | Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America
Maria Sharapova in her last appearance at the Western and Southern Open | Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

Sharapova initially arrived in Cincinnati on Friday, which almost certainly meant that she had recovered from the injury and ready to be in action once again. That was further affirmed when her name appeared in the practice schedule, much to the delight of her fans. However, it was found out that she had consulted the medical staff at the tournament and heeded their advice of withdrawing and not having the risk of aggravating the injury.

“I arrived in Cincinnati yesterday eager to play. However, following the doctor’s advice on-site, as a precaution for the US Open, I am unfortunately withdrawing from the tournament with the left forearm injury I sustained in Stanford,” Sharapova’s statement had a tinge of disappointment included, but once again hinted that her recuperation has been going well considering that she is preparing for the US Open qualifying rounds, which begins next week.

Maria Sharapova celebrates winning her match against Madison Keys at the 2014 Western and Southern Open | Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America
Maria Sharapova celebrates winning her match against Madison Keys at the 2014 Western and Southern Open | Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

“I want to thank the tournament for the wildcard opportunity and really look forward to competing here next year.” Sharapova thanked the tournament for giving her a chance to participate. It was the Russian’s seventh wild card of the year, not including the Tianjin Open and the China Open.

Sharapova’s injury struggles

This is Sharapova’s withdrawal of any kind from her sixth consecutive tournament. Sharapova was forced to retire in her second round match against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni at the Internazionali BNL D’Italia before having to withdraw from the whole grass-court season due to a thigh injury, forcing her out of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham and the qualifying tournament of the Wimbledon Championships.

Maria Sharapova in her last match at the Western and Southern Open against Ana Ivanovic | Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America
Maria Sharapova in her last match at the Western and Southern Open against Ana Ivanovic | Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

The Russian then made her return to tennis at the Bank of the West Classic, but she once again withdrew from the tournament in the second round after sustaining a left forearm injury in her win over Jennifer Brady. Sharapova would make her next scheduled appearance at the US Open qualifying tournament, which would begin next week.


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