Maria Sharapova has confirmed that her ongoing arm injury will force her to miss the Qatar Open later this month.
The 28-year-old six-time Grand Slam winner has been struggling with a forearm problem since crashing out of the Australian Open quarter-finals
at the hands of top seed Serena Williams in Melbourne last month.
Sharapova said at the time she was unlikely to play again until Indian Wells in March, before being told by the Russian Tennis Federation chief, Shamil Tarpishchev, that she would not be picked for the Olympics in Rio later this year if she didn’t play in her country’s Fed Cup clash against the Netherlands last weekend.
Sharapova subsequently attended the World Group tie in Moscow, which Russia lost, but didn’t play for the team.
And now the world number six has confirmed that she will not be ready to play in the Qatar Open in Doha from February 21-27.
A statement released by Qatar Tennis read: “Unfortunately, I will not be able to play the Qatar Open later this month because of my left forearm injury.
“I would like to wish the tournament and all the great fans in Doha a great week of tennis and I hope to see them next year.”
Sharapova is now focused on being first for the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells from March 7-20, while she can be backed at 7.00 to win the year’s second Grand Slam event at the French Open in Paris.