DUBAI: Former world number one Maria Sharapova and finalist of the US Open at the Madison Keys retired Dubai Duty Free Championship next week, tournament organizers said on Thursday.
Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam winner who had accepted a pass from her first appearance in the tournament since 2006, has decided to withdraw by citing an injury to her forearm. Sharapova lost her first match at the Qatar Open on Monday in the Romanian Monica Niculescu in two sets and is currently ranked 41st in the world. The Russian, 30, has a record of 21 wins and 10 losses since returning from a doping suspension last April. The US number 14, who was going to make his debut in Dubai, withdrew due to illness.
"Unfortunately, Maria Sharapova and Madison Keys unfortunately had to withdraw from the Duty Free Tennis Championships Dubai due to injuries and illnesses," tournament director Salah Tahlak said in a statement. "I'm sorry that neither Maria nor Madison does not play in Dubai, but we still have one of the best fields in the history of the WTA." María said there is a lot that can not be here and I hope to return next year. We wish you a speedy recovery, as well as Madison. "The tournament will begin on Monday with world number two Simona Halep in the lead together defending title Elina Svitolina.