Defending champion Maria Sharapova will not be playing in the upcoming Australian Open. She made the announcement because of her slower recovery from the shoulder injury she got back in August.
“I am very sorry to announce that I am not going to be able to defend my title at this year’s Australian Open,” Sharapova said in a statement. “My shoulder is doing great, but I just started training a few weeks ago and I am just not near the level I need to be to compete at the highest levels.”
This is a huge blow to the tourney, given the performance Sharapova showed in the last edition of the Grand Slam. Of course, many people would be disappointed with the lowering of the glamour quotient of the games. These guys are not even planning to watch the Grand Slam just for the same reason!
“She played some amazing tennis on Rod Laver Arena last year and has a massive legion of fans in Australia,” Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said. “I know she has been working around the clock to try and get back from the shoulder injury. In the end, time beat her this year.”