Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford citing soreness in her left forearm. As reported on Bleacher Report in 2016, a similar injury forced her to withdraw from the Qatar Total Open, and at the time was just one in a string of injuries dating back to the latter part of her 2015 season.
Today’s decision was rendered with the rest of the season in mind: “Toward the end of the Monday night’s match, I felt pain in my left forearm. After yesterday’s scan, the doctor has recommended I don’t risk further injury. Monday night’s crowd was so special and I wish I could continue playing but I have to make a preventative decision.”
Serena Williams and Roger Federer, each five years her senior, have modelled increasingly conservative calendars designed to preserve their health and maintain maximum longevity as they chase records and build their legacies; but with such a long absence, Sharapova’s main goal is just to get back to the grind.
“I like to train but I love to compete,” she told press at her opening match for the Orange County Breakers in Mylan World Team Tennis last month.
She used the exhibition matches near her hometown in Southern California to get a taste of competition play before begin of the Open Series.
As it stands, Sharapova has only played one professional match since May and a total of just nine since the Australian Open in 2016. It was a thigh injury that forced Sharapova to withdraw from the Italian Open in Rome earlier this year. As the first WTA tournament in the US Open Series, the Bank of the West Classic was meant to be an opportunity for her to get back her feet before the season draws to a close.
Sharapova’s next scheduled tournament is the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada, which begins Monday, August 7.
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