Wow, this is interesting! After some sound rumors at Down the Line and other blogs, it’s being reported by Matt Cronin at TennisReporters.net that Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from singles competition at the upcoming BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, but will be playing doubles at the tournament with Russian Fed Cup teammate Elena Vesnina. The two have never played doubles together before, and Maria hasn’t played doubles with anyone since 2005.
Here they are pictured last year in Melbourne:
More from Matt Cronin (click here for the full story):
Even though Sharapova has been practicing daily at the Nick Bollettieri Academy in Florida for the past seven weeks, her surgically repaired right shoulder still gets fatigued after three consecutive days of two out of three set matches and her doctors aren’t convinced that it’s a good idea to push it in singles during the next two weeks.
Maria’s still on the schedule to play singles in the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, which follows Indian Wells, so this must be her way of easing back into pro play and testing out that bum rotator cuff. I think it’s a great idea.
Let’s wait and see how this story develops.
Sharapova Photo: John Donegan
Sharapova/Vesnina Photo: Rob Griffith for Getty Images