Two-time champion Sharapova pulls out of French Open | CTlive.info - South Africa News

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Sharapova won the last of her 36 WTA titles in October 2017

Former French Open champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from this year’s tournament because of her long-standing shoulder problem.

The 32-year-old world number 35 has not played since pulling out of an event in her native Russia at the end of January and had a small operation in February.

“Sometimes the right decisions aren’t always the easiest ones,” the five-time Grand Slam winner said.

This year’s French Open begins on 26 May and runs to 9 June.

Sharapova, who won the French title in 2012 and 2014, returned to the tour in April 2017 after a 15-month ban for taking the banned drug meldonium.

She reached the French Open quarter-finals last year, losing 6-2 6-1 to third seed Garbine Muguruza.

In the opening Grand Slam of this year, the Russian lost to Australia’s Ashleigh Barty in the round of 16.

“In better news, I have returned to the practice court, and slowly building the strength back in my shoulder,” she posted on her Instagram account, alongside a picture of her lifting the Roland Garros trophy in 2014.

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