Sharapova withdraws from US Open with leg injury
US Open tournament director David Brewer announced Sharapova’s exit, which allowed qualifying lucky loser Daria Kasatkina of Russia into the draw in Sharapova’s place.
“Unfortunately I will not be able to compete in this <g data-gr-id="31">years</g> US Open,” Sharapova said in a Twitter posting on Sunday.
“I have done everything possible to be <g data-gr-id="36">ready</g> but it was just not enough time. “To all my amazing fans, I will be back in the Asian swing in a few weeks and look forward to finishing the year healthy and strong.”
Sharapova had been the highest-seeded rival in Williams’ half of the US Open draw, a status that now belongs to seventh-seeded Serbian Ana Ivanovic, a possible semi-final foe for the 33-year-old
Williams is trying to complete the first Grand Slam calendar-year title sweep since Steffi Graf in 1988 and match Graf’s Open <g data-gr-id="32">Era-record</g> of 22 Slam singles crowns.
Sharapova had not played a match since losing to Williams in a Wimbledon semi-final last month because of the injury, which she said had been a day-to-day thing since it happened.
“Dealing with these nagging things, it’s almost like a day-to-day process,” Sharapova said on Saturday. “When you are facing something with the body it’s always a day-to-day process.”
Williams is 18-2 all-time against Sharapova and has won their past 17 meetings in a row. Prior to pulling out of the tournament for the second time in three years, Sharapova described the injury as “just a muscle strain”.
“I’ve done everything I could to be ready,” Sharapova said. “There’s nothing more that I could have done.”
Sharapova did make the publicity rounds in the days before the US Open, including a photo shoot with a New York taxi and many of her rivals that noted her position at the front, well away from Williams and ex-boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov.
“Time-wise it has been the same for me as it has the last seven or eight years,” said Sharapova of her publicity outings.
Nadal works on building mental toughness
Rafael Nadal says mental toughness had always been one of his main strengths and hopes it would be no different this year at the US Open.
“One of the best things during all of my career has been my mental toughness. I have not managed to achieve that consistency this season,” Efe quoted the former world No.1 and two-time US Open champion as saying on Sunday. He has a 42-14 record this season, but the 14-time Major winner has won just two of nine matches against top 10 players. “But I’m starting to notice that I have that mentality back, with confidence in myself. To have confidence, you have to win. If you’re not winning, you’re not going to have very high confidence. “To win, you have to play well. To win a lot, you have to play very well and have lots of confidence, and I’m playing well on Monday,” Nadal said.