Maria Sharapova under injury cloud ahead of Aus Open after retiring in China
Maria Sharapova’s Australian Open preparations are off to a shaky start after she was forced to retire during the Shenzhen Open.
The former world No 1 looked sluggish early on during her quarter-final clash against Aryna Sabalenka.
During an on-court coaching break, the Russian’s coach Thomas Hogstedt told her: “If you feel more like you did on the first point, then you just stop. Or you take a medical now. But the shots are there… you have to get it up to another gear.”
After losing the opening set 6-1, she eventually took a timeout, but it wasn’t long before she found herself 4-2 down and decided to throw in the towel.
Maria Sharapova retires due to injury. pic.twitter.com/8VdINMjtWJ
— WTA (@WTA) January 4, 2019
World No 13 Sabalenka will take on Wang Yafan for a place in the final after the Chinese player beat Romanian qualifier Monica Niculescu 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.
The other semi-final will see Vera Zvonareva up against Alison Riske.
Russian Zvonareva dropped the first set against Veronika Kudermetova before storming back to win 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 while American Riske beat Sorana Cirstea from Romania 7-5, 6-1.
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