Maria Sharapova is still out of the game. A tournament spokesperson for next week’s Paris Open confirmed: “she will not be there (Paris Open), she will not be taking part in the Dubai tournament the following week.” There’s nothing on Maria’s website about it yet (still plenty about Tiffany charm bracelets, cell phone contests etc.) and this Reuters article is no help, either, saying only that she’s withdrawn after “failing to fully recover from a shoulder injury.”
Wait, does that mean that she’s failed completely or just failed for now? My hope is that she sees the season extending for 10 more months and has decided to pace herself. She’s already missed the first Major of the year, why not wait until Indian Wells or Miami to make her 2009 debut and skip all the cross world travel?
As a fan I don’t mind waiting, as long as she comes back healthy. Without her as a consistent force, 2009 may become the year of the WSTA = Williams Sisters Tennis Association. I love Venus and Serena, but the sport needs another tough-as-nails mulitple grand slam Champ in the mix. Heck, we could use that on the men’s side, too.
(Of course, it looks like Justine might be testing the waters. . .)
****Maria’s statement (posted on her website on 2/5/09): “My shoulder continues to improve every day and I am working very hard on the practice court. I’m looking forward to being back on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour very soon.”****