In a big blow to the US Open 2015, Russian third seed Maria Sharapova has pulled out on the eve of the year’s final Grand Slam tournament on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts, due to a right leg injury. She had not played since losing to top-ranked Serena Williams in a Wimbledon semi-final.
“Unfortunately I will not be able to compete in this year’s US Open. I have done everything possible to be ready but it was just not enough time,” Sharapova said on her Facebook page .
“To all my amazing fans, I will be back in the Asian swing in a few weeks and look forward to finishing the year healthy and strong,” she said.
Sharapova had been the highest-seeded rival in Williams’ half of the US Open draw, a status that now belongs to seventh-seeded Serbian Ana Ivanovic, a possible semi-final foe for the 33-year-old American. Williams is trying to complete the first Grand Slam calendar-year title sweep, since Steffi Graf, in 1988, and match Graf’s Open Era-record of 22 Slam singles crowns.
She was due to play Australian world No.37 Daria Gavrilova. Sharapova sustained the injury during training after Wimbledon, an injury that forced her to withdraw from lead-up tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati. With Sharapova pulling out, it left her replacement, Russian Daria Kasatkina, to face Australian Daria Gavrilova, in what had been planned as the last match on the Armstrong court.