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Stanford Open: Sharapova pulls out; cites arm injury

Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova announced her withdrawal from the WTA Bank of West Classic on Wednesday, just ahead of her match with the 28-year old Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko. On Monday, the 30-year old Russian played her first match in the US after almost 2 years and beat Jennifer Brady 6-1 4-6 6-0, having previously been out with a massive thigh injury.
"Unfortunately I have to withdraw from today's match," Sharapova said in a statement. "Towards the end of Monday night's match, I felt pain in my left forearm. After yesterday's scan, the doctor has recommended I don't risk further injury. Monday night's crowd was so special. I wish I could continue playing but I have to make a preventive decision."
Sharapova conveyed her thanks to her fans for the support they showed her and stated that the cheers meant a lot to her.
"I feel like I want to hug everyone and say thank you. It was my first match in the States after a long time and it's the closest thing to home for me."
Previously a world no.1, her current rank has dropped to 171 following her 15-month anti-doping ban. She was given a wildcard to play in the US Stanford Open and will need another wildcard in order to make it to the main draw at the US Open which commences on August 28. This also begs the question of whether or not the tennis star will be able to attend the key tune-up event scheduled in Cincinnati for which she has accepted a wildcard.
"This is definitely tough for Maria," Bank of the West Classic tournament director, Vickie Gunnarsson said. "She has so many fans, which was evident by the support she received here on Monday night. We wish her a speedy recovery and hope to see her back on the court soon."
After Sharapova's walk over, Lesia Tsurenko will face Madison Keys who secured a difficult game against Caroline Dolehead and advanced to the quarter-finals, rallying from a set down for a 3-3 6-2 6-0 win.
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