The last big deal Maria Sharapova might have gone to was the 2109 Met Gala a few weeks ago at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She's pulled out of many tournaments and now has decided to give this year's French Open a miss.
It was before that she disembarked from the Italian Open with an injured shoulder. The ailment started at the beginning of the year, the end of January, diagnosed as a fraying tendon and small labrum tear. This made it unbearable to make an appearance at the St.
Petersburg tournament in Russia. The procedure was necessary in February, to help in the healing process, but since then she has been recuperating and knows not to rush things in coming back. Stuttgart was one of the tournaments that were significant and which she wasn't able to make this year.
It marked her debut comeback into the WTA tour after her drug ban a few years ago and one of her brand sponsors. She has fond memories of receiving her first wild card there to play the indoor event and had said in 2107 that "I could not be happier to have my first match back on tour at one of my favourite tournaments."
Sharapova has now withdrawn from the second grand slam making the atmosphere very bleak for her and her fans as she commented on social media that "Sometimes the right decisions aren't always the easiest ones."
The positive vibe though is that she's practising again and trying to strengthen her shoulder back into a playing style she knows she can endure. As for now it's a wait and sees for Sharapova's fans. Many will be waiting to see when she'll make her comeback.
As the tournament director Markus Gunthardt had said concerning the Stuttgart return, but which applies to Sharapova now that her return is "a fabulous present for our fantastic spectators and is certain to be one of the sporting and emotional highlights..."
Sharapova says that "I am making very good progress but just not ready to compete at the highest level." The tennis community and Sharapova fans with every withdrawal will be thinking about the inevitable situation of her retirement.
Despite the venue, she gives her speech at or the time, it might not be what the fans want, but it sure wouldn't be a total surprise that wasn't somewhat expected.