DOHA (AFP) - Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the Qatar Open tournament to be held later this month due to an injury to her left forearm, the organisers announced on Wednesday.
It is the second time the world No. 6 has pulled out of a tournament this season because of the same injury.
Earlier this year, the Russian also had to withdraw from her intended season opener, the Brisbane International.
"Unfortunately, I will not be able to play the Qatar Open because of my left forearm injury," the 28-year-old said in statement released by Qatar Tennis. "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 has won in Qatar twice - in 2005 and 2008. This year she was meant to be part of a strong line-up in Doha in a tournament featuring No. 1 seed Serena Williams, Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova.
Also there will be surprise Australian Open winner Angelique Kerber.
If the seeding goes to plan, Kerber and Williams will meet again in the final in Doha, just 28 days after their clash in Melbourne.
This year's Qatar Open will be played between Feb 21 and 27 and is the 14th time the tournament has been held.