Birmingham | Sharapova withdraws
Maria Sharapova has pulled out of next week’s tournament in Birmingham declaring she needs extra rest before she takes on Wimbledon after a three-year absence due mainly to her being banned for taking performance enhancing drugs.
I need to take care of my body and make sure I stay healthy and sometimes that means you have to take tough decisions like this one Maria Sharapova
She was due to play there last year thanks to a wildcard issued by the LTA but couldn’t take it up citing an injury.
The 31-year-old Russian has not played Wimbledon since 20015 when she made the semi-finals. She was also champion of Wimbledon in 2004.
“I have good memories of Birmingham so I’m disappointed not to be able to play this year,” said Sharapova, a two-time champion at the Wimbledon warm-up event.
“I need to take care of my body and make sure I stay healthy and sometimes that means you have to take tough decisions like this one.”
Sharapova, the world number 23, made the French Open quarter-finals last week where she was defeated by Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, winning only three games.