In the middle of our worries about why Maria Sharapova hasn’t landed on a plane to Australia yet, the withdrawal of the reigning Australian Open champion from this year’s event hits the news.
The 21-year-old Sharapova still hasn’t completely overcome her shoulder injury troubles, which prevented her from playing competitive tennis since August.
“I am very sorry to announce that I am not going to be able to defend my title at this year’s Australian Open,” the Russian said in a statement.
“My shoulder is doing great but I just started training a few weeks ago and I am just not near the level I need to be to compete at the highest levels.”
The world No.9 Sharapova didn’t play the recently-finished JB Group Classic exhibition event citing the same reasons.
Thank you Pat for being the first to tell me about this piece of news. Oh, the 2009 season hasn’t started well. Sharapova will not be there to defend her title, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic are both sick, what’s next? (photo: Stephane Martinache)
I must say that although I was pretty much expecting the bad news to come any day now, it is still very disappointing. I think she has made the right decision and wants to come back when she is at her best and ready to compete for the big titles. This is now the second Grand Slam in a row Maria has missed and I must say the tour is just not the same without her. Hopefully she will be 100% fit and ready by the time Indian Wells and Miami come around.
NOOOOOOO this is so sad.. i was expecting to watch maria play!!! it’s not going to be the same without her!!
i don’t know but for any strange reason, i knew this was gonna happen. when she retired frem the exhibition i think well it’s ok she is training, but when we recive the news that JJ and ana were arriving to melbourne and maria was’t there already i knew she was going to retired from the tournament!! so dissapionting
Maria has been missed for a long time now, too long. Sarah, I agree, she made the right decision, no point in playing if you can’t play at your best, you can only make the things worse that way. However, I was expecting a great comeback of Maria, during December I imagined her coming back in as amazing form as at the AO 2008. Oh, my imagination. 🙂
Nacho, I remember you asking about Maria when I posted that Ana had arrived in Melbourne. Your feeling was right. At that moment, I was still hoping she would arrive, although it was strange there was absolutely no talk about her.
I’m a bit slow nowadays, and I think this will be my last comment for your blog,(I have to focus on my thesis now, i hope i will be back) and I intend to make this worth it.
Hmph, Maria with her shoulder injury is just devastating to know that she can’t defend her title. First worries is that Maria will sink down the rankings, and this will be the first time she’s out of the top 10 since 2004. And I have read that her injury indeed is so serious that some players who had shoulder injuries had difficulty coming back to his/her game. And one aspect of her game that can be affected dearly is her serve. I think Maria relies more on her serve, and a shoulder injury will greatly affect her service motion and it may hamper bringing her big serve. And it may ultimately end her tennis career, for many people are saying that when Maria loses her first serve her game falls apart. I don’t know really if she can get away with this.
But one is for sure, tennis needs Maria, as much as MAria needs tennis. Her competitiveness is just amusing to watch, even inspirational, like the moral that she is imparting is that fight and fight your adversaries until you find success.
And who doesn’t miss her fashionable outfits. Like who made a statement that tennis is more than a game, that it is indeed a way of life, more so a way of fashion. Love to see Maria back.
I hope she will be okay. Hope she will come out stronger. Love to her fight again. Love to see her shout ‘Come On!!!!!!!!!’.
Hope she wins the french, maybe 2010? Love Maria. Get well soon!
Oh Pat, you will be missed, a lot! But I wish you great luck with your thesis, you should focus on it. When you make breaks in writing your thesis, do visit Women’s Tennis Blog sometimes, at least to say hello.
From what I know, shoulder injuries are very complex and difficult to heal. I hope Maria will manage to completely come out of this difficult situation.
According to her, her shoulder is great, she just needs more preparation. I’m holding on to that.
All the best to both you Pat and Maria!
This is really disappointing and kind of depressing but we can’t do anything ’bout it. I think Maria made the right decision not to compete if she feels like she’s not able to do so.
I miss her so much. Hopefully she’ll be able to defend her next title in Doha. I’m pretty much excited to see the results of her rehab and training! See yah soon Masha… Best wishes!
Maria definitely made the right decision, but as you said, Johan, it is depressing, who knows when she will be able to return to her best. I wish her fast recovery.
We all miss Maria.
When will she recover?She has been out for so long!
Supposedly, Maria has recovered, she’s just not yet ready to play her best, as she needs more practice. When will we have the good old Maria back, nobody knows.