Maria Sharapova’s struggles in 2018 continued after she was forced to withdraw from yet another tournament, this time the Miami Open, due to a lingering left forearm injury which has been bothering her since 2015. The Russian is on a poor three-match losing streak, her first since 2003, and looks out-of-form throughout the start of the year as the former world number one still finds herself lingering outside the top-40 after a series of injury issues.
Sharapova disappointed to withdraw
"I am really sorry that I have to withdrawal from one of my favorite tournaments with my left forearm injury. I am doing everything possible to return to the tour as soon as possible,” Sharapova mentioned in a media statement published on the tournament website.
Missing Sharapova from the tournament line-up might be a blow, considering that they had already scheduled the Russian superstar to headline their Wednesday night session alongside Serena Williams.
Tournament director James Blake, a former ATP professional, also released a statement representing the event, “I know how much Maria wanted to play Miami this year, so I can imagine her disappointment. We were looking forward to seeing her play Wednesday, but unfortunately injuries are part of the game. We hope she recovers quickly and is back on the court soon.”
With Sharapova’s withdrawal, local favorite and world number 86 Jennifer Brady will now move into the main draw.
Frustration continues for Sharapova
After a bright start to the year by reaching the semifinals at the Shenzhen Open, everything went downhill for Sharapova as a poor third-round loss at the Australian Open to eventual semifinalist Angelique Kerber saw her winning just four games in that one-sided affair. Furthermore, a first-round exit to Monica Niculescu at the Qatar Total Open followed, before another opening-round loss to Naomi Osaka at the BNP Paribas Open, though Osaka went on to reach the final in Indian Wells.
The Russian could have possibly inflicted this injury during her loss to Niculescu in Qatar as she looked humble on her backhand shots, but she had a history of the left forearm injury as it also lingered back in 2015 after Wimbledon.
It kept her out for five months then, and in 2017, it also prevented her from competing for two months. With the recent split from her long-term coach Sven Groeneveld, it has been a series of bad news for Sharapova as she looks to return into action at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in April, where she has been granted a wildcard.