Shoulder woe sidelines Sharapova

19 September 2018 05:11:04 EST

Maria Sharapova has been forced to call an early halt to her 2018 campaign as she continues to be bothered by a problem in her right shoulder.

The former world number one and five-time Grand Slam champion has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming China Open, Tianjin Open and Kremlin Cup as she has opted to take a break from the game to rest up properly for next year.

It is important that I allow for proper rest and recovery in the upcoming weeks.

Maria Sharapova

She told the official WTA Tour website: "Unfortunately, as I recover from my right shoulder injury, I am withdrawing from Beijing, Tianjin and Moscow.

"I will miss competing at each of these tournaments, but it is important that I allow for proper rest and recovery in the upcoming weeks.

"I was looking forward to coming back to Tianjin to defend my title, but unfortunately I need to give myself time to recover from injury."

Sharapova has enjoyed mixed fortunes in the four Grand Slam tournaments this year, reaching the quarter-finals of the French Open and the fourth round at the US Open.

The Russian also made round three in Australia early in the year, but the 2004 champion fell at the first hurdle at Wimbledon, losing out in three sets to compatriot Vitalia Diatchenko.

Her last tournament success came at the Tianjin Open just under 12 months ago.

Sharapova is priced at 33/1 to win the Australian Open next year, with Angelique Kerber available at 15/2 and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki 20/1.

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