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Sharapova withdraws from Hong Kong exhibition

Sharapova withdraws from Hong Kong exhibition

Defending Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from a Hong Kong exhibition tournament saying she is still recovering from a shoulder injury just weeks ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year.
The three-time Grand Slam winner started playing tennis again just over two weeks ago and isn't match fit, organizers of the Jan. 7-10 Hong Kong event said in a statement on their Web site Wednesday
"I'm just not ready to play against the top-class competition in Hong Kong, although I remain hopeful for Australia where I'm the defending champion," the statement quoted Sharapova as saying.
The Australian Open runs from Jan. 19 to Feb. 1.
"Maria needs to get 'tennis fit' now and she's working hard," Sharapova's agent, Max Eisenbud, was quoted as saying.
Sharapova has not played competitively since pulling out of the Rogers Cup at Montreal in late July after beating Poland's Marta Domachowska in a nearly three-hour match in which she double-faulted 17 times. The Russian was examined by a trainer midway through the three-set victory and withdrew from the event before her next match.
Medical tests later found a torn rotator cuff tendon in the 21-year-old's right shoulder.
Sharapova missed the rest of the just-concluded season, including the Beijing Olympics and the U.S. Open, ending her streak of 23 consecutive major tournaments.
She hadn't missed a major since her Grand Slam debut at the 2003 Australian Open. Sharapova also won the singles titles at Wimbledon in 2004 and the U.S. Open in 2006.
While she briefly held the No. 1 spot this year, her time off the court led her to slide down before ending the season at No. 9.
Sharapova went 32-4 with three titles in 2008, earning nearly $2 million in tour prize money.
Organizers in Hong Kong have replaced Sharapova with fellow Russian Anna Chakvetadze.
The field at the team-format event also includes top-ranked Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, American Venus Williams, Russia's Vera Zvonareva, Zheng Jie of China and India's Sania Mirza.


Updated : 2021-08-06 11:51 GMT+08:00