Ah, this is too bad. Maria Sharapova announced today that she is not ready to defend her title Down Under and will not be playing in the first Major of the year.
According to statements on her website, it’s not the shoulder injury that’s keeping her sidelined but a lack of match readiness. I can imagine that it would take some time to get in Major condition – especially if she’s being cautious not to over strain her shoulder or anything else. She played over two seasons with the pain, and there had to have been lots of unhealthy overcompensating going on. Now that the shoulder’s okay, I’m sure she’s found a lot of kinks in her game that need to be addressed. Let’s hope she’s ready to go by the French!
Even though we won’t have Justine Henin or Maria Sharapova in the tournament this year, I’m still looking forward to a competitive field. Both Venus Williams and Elena Dementieva are playing good tennis, winning Hong Kong and Auckland, respectively, and we have plenty of up and comers to look out for, like Hopman Cup champ Dominika Cibulkova and Brisbane title-holder Victoria Azarenka.
How does everyone else feel about it? Will you be missing Maria or are you used to her being a no show?