SAN FRANCISCO • Maria Sharapova withdrew from her match against Lesia Tsurenko at the Stanford Classic in California on Wednesday because of soreness in her left arm - bringing into question whether she will be fit for the US Open, which starts on Aug 28.
It is the second time in three months that the Russian tennis player's comeback has been interrupted by injury. She also retired at the Italian Open in mid-May after injuring her left thigh.
The former world No. 1, competing in her fourth tournament after a 15-month doping ban, said she started to feel pain in her forearm during her first-round win over Jennifer Brady on Monday.
"After yesterday's scan, the doctor has recommended I don't risk further injury," the 30-year-old said on Wednesday.
Seventh-seeded Ukrainian Tsurenko advanced with a walkover as a result of the wildcard entrant's early exit.
"Unfortunately, I have to withdraw from today's match," Sharapova added. "I wish I could continue playing but I have to make a preventative decision."
The latest injury makes Sharapova a big doubt for the US Open.
BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY
I wish I could continue playing but I have to make a preventative decision.
MARIA SHARAPOVA, former world No. 1, on her decision to withdraw from the Stanford Classic after feeling pain in her forearm.
Having missed the entire grass-court season with injury, the world No. 171 will not be ranked highly enough to gain direct entry into the fourth and final Major of the year.
She has to qualify for the US Open or rely on a wildcard from the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
The five-time Major champion, who returned to competition in April, will be hoping to be fit for another key US Open tune-up event in Cincinnati in two weeks.
THE TIMES, LONDON, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE