Maria Sharapova pulls out of Indian Wells due to injury

Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from this month’s BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in California because of a persistent arm injury.

The five-time Grand Slam champion has been troubled by her left forearm since the start of the year, when she pulled out of an Australian Open warm-up tournament in Brisbane.

She then lost to Serena Williams in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January. She has not competed since.

In Sharapova's absence, Colombia’s Mariana Duque-Marino moves into the main women’s draw at Indian Wells. Williams is the top seed for the women’s event at the BNP Paribas Open, which will be played from March 9 to 20.