The women’s draw for the 2013 U.S. Open just got slightly easier, as Maria Sharapova, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, has elected to pull out of the last major of the season due to a nagging shoulder injury sustained earlier this summer.
Following the decision, Maria posted the following statement on her website: “I just wanted to let you know that withdrawing from the US Open has been a really tough decision to make. I have done everything I could since Wimbledon to get myself ready but it just wasn’t enough time. I have done many tests, received several opinions and it all comes down to taking the proper amount of time to heal my shoulder injury properly. It’s certainly not an easy decision to make ahead of one of my favorite tournaments, but I know it’s the right one that will get me back on the courts soon. I plan on taking the next few weeks off, receiving proper treatment and rehabilitation. I will miss being part of the US Open, but can’t wait for next year!”
It’s been a tough couple of months for the 2006 U.S. Open champ, and the former No. 1 women’s tennis player in the world. After losing to Serena Williams in the French Open, Sharapova followed it up with another disappointing outing at Wimbledon, where she was bounced in the second round by a player ranked outside the Top 100.
Hoping to turn things around, Sharapova then brought the great Jimmy Connors onboard as her coach, before firing him after just one match, a loss.
With Maria out of the mix, Serena is certainly the favorite to take the singles title on the women’s side. In fact, given her success as of late, Serena probably would have still been considered the frontrunner even if Sharapova decided to play.
Despite her injury, there is good news for Maria fans—she’s decided to not go through with changing her name from Sharapova to Sugarpova (the name of her line of candy).