Tennis

Maria Sharapova pulls out of the US Open

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Maria Sharapova has pulled out of the US Open on the eve of the tournament.

The Russian world number three has been struggling with a muscle strain in her right leg and has not played a competitive match since losing to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon semi-finals just over seven weeks ago.

She travelled to New York for the year's final grand slam tournament, but announced a day before the start that she had withdrawn.

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Sharapova wrote on her Facebook page: " Unfortunately I will not be able to compete in this years US Open. I have done everything possible to be ready but it was just not enough time. To all my amazing fans, I will be back in the Asian swing in a few weeks and look forward to finishing the year healthy and strong."

Sharapova had been due to begin her campaign against Australian Daria Gavrilova on Monday evening, with that match scheduled to be the last of the day on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

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The five-time grand slam champion was forced to withdraw from the Rogers Cup in Montreal earlier this month and has only been able to do limited training in the build-up to the year's last major tournament.

After giving herself until the last moment to judge her fitness for Flushing Meadows, Sharapova decided it was prudent to pull out.

Her absence could be portrayed as good news for those willing Serena Williams to achieve the first calendar Grand Slam since Steffi Graff in 1988, given Sharapova was seeded to play the American in the semi-finals.

However Williams has beaten Sharapova in their last 17 matches. Patrick Mouraglou, who coaches Williams, went so far during Wimbledon to stress there was no rivalry between the pair, given Williams wins every time.

Sharapova won the US Open as a 19-year-old in 2006 and her best performance since has been a semi-final showing in 2012, when she lost to Victoria Azarenka.

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Topics:
US Open Tennis
Tennis
Maria Sharapova

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