After losing the Pacific Life Open semifinal to Svetlana Kuznetsova, Maria Sharapova stated she might withdraw from the next week’s Sony Ericsson Open, and a few hours later Miami Herald reports the Russian made the decision to skip the Key Biscayne tournament because of fatigue. Sharapova is aware of the fact she will need to pay a heavy fine for pulling out, but she considers her health more important than money.
Sharapova’s perfect 18-0 record this season has been ended by the loss to fellow Russian Kuznetsova on Friday, and after the match Sharapova admitted she needed to rest after traveling almost 50,000 miles since the start of the year.
"I've been playing a lot of tennis, flying a lot, and it's all been work since I took a week off after the championships," world No.5 Sharapova said. "It's pretty much been nonstop from the season to all the tournaments I've been playing, and Fed Cup as well. It takes a toll on your body and your mind. You feel like you have to go out on the court and, you know, spend a lot of emotion and energy out there, and sometimes you just don't have it for every match."
Since the Sony Ericsson Open is a mandatory event, Sharapova will have to pay a big fine for her withdrawal, but she's ready to face the consequences, knowing her health is the first and foremost thing to take care of.
"I'm sure that there's a pretty big fine, but the body's more important than a fine," she said.
JJ, are you taking notes?
UPDATE 1: Now I'm reading at ESPN that Sharapova has withdrawn because of a shoulder injury. I don't know what the true cause is. Her official website still has no news. Fatigue or injury, she won't play at the Sony Ericsson Open.
UPDATE 2: Sharapova's official website states the reason for the withdrawal is a shoulder injury. They're saying: "It is not known yet which tournament Maria will return to but she will be at the tournament doing various things." Whatever that means. My first thought is she'll need to be at the tournament to attract more money.