The five-time Grand Slam champion and a former world no. 1 Maria Sharapova was forced to withdraw before the second round clash with Daria Kasatkina at St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy due to a right shoulder injury. Instead of a blockbuster match between two best-ranked Russian players, Daria has moved into the quarter-final without playing a single game so far, receiving a bye in the opening round as the third seed.
Maria has been struggling with a shoulder injury ever since she came back to competition in 2017, doing her best to overcome the problems but having to withdraw and reach her team of doctors to see how serious the injury is.
The 31-year-old lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open to Ashleigh Barty before beating Daria Gavrilova in the opening round here in St. Petersburg for her first triumph on the Russian soil in many years. Nonetheless, she said the pain is still there and that she worked for months to resolve it and make the pain go away.
Sharapova is hoping for the quickest possible comeback and more good results, seeking the place in the top-20 for the first time since May 2016. "I tried to do everything possible to be able to be ready to compete this week, but my right shoulder continues to be an issue for me," Sharapova said.
"I will meet with my team of doctors over the next few days to evaluate the situation, and I look forward to returning to completion as soon as possible. It was so special to play in front of my home crowd this week and I wish I could have continued competing in this fantastic tournament."