Following her first-round exit at the Australian Open to Donna Vekic, Maria Sharapova decided to skip the WTA Premier event in St. Petersburg last week with an ongoing shoulder injury. Besides that loss to Vekic in Melbourne, Maria was beaten by Jennifer Brady in Brisbane at the beginning of the season, testing her shoulder but deciding to skip St.
Petersburg and take more time off the court, still struggling with an injury that has been bothering her for quite some time now. The five-time Major singles champion finished the previous season outside the top-100 only for the second time after 2002 when she was 15, playing just eight tournaments in 2019 and failing to deliver her best tennis after so many injuries and setbacks over the last couple of years.
The Russian stayed sidelined until Mallorca in June, scoring only two wins in the previous five events of the season and experiencing that terrible loss against Serena Williams at the US Open. Unable to play in Linz and Luxembourg, Maria ended the season in New York, playing at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship against Ajla Tomljanovic in December and hoping for a fresh start in Brisbane and Melbourne.
Instead of that, her shoulder is still causing troubles, keeping her sidelined at least for a couple more weeks before she asks for another wild card in March if she feels better by then. This summer, Maria will embrace her eighth World TeamTennis season with Orange County Breakers and the ninth overall, signing to play two home matches in Newport Beach on July 28 and 29 against San Diego Aviators and New York Empire.
Not aware of that, the Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpishchev spoke about Sharapova's slim chances of reaching the Tokyo Olympics main draw, also forgetting the fact she hasn't played for the Russian Fed Cup squad since 2015.
"The qualification for the Olympic Games is determined by the rankings. Over this time, her task is not only to get into the qualification list - four Russians can still be ahead of her and then she won't get through. Therefore, I think it is unlikely," Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpishchev said.