Double injury blow for Dubai Duty Free event as duo withdraw

Maria Sharapova and Madison Keys have both pulled out of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Five-time Grand Slam winner Sharapova, who suffered a first-round exit at the Qatar Open, accepted a wildcard to take part in the Dubai event, but has withdrawn due to a forearm injury.

World No 14 Keys, who was expected to make her Dubai debut, also won’t feature as she pulled out due to illness.

“Unfortunately both Maria Sharapova and Madison Keys have regretfully had to withdraw from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships due to injury and illness,” tournament director Salah Tahlak said in a statement.

“We are sorry that neither Maria nor Madison will be able to play in Dubai, but we still have one of the strongest fields ever assembled for the WTA event.

“Maria said that she is very sorry she cannot be here and hopes to come back next year. We wish her and Madison a speedy recovery.”

Meanwhile, there was some good news for organisers as French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko has joined the field that will also include Simona Halep and defending champion Elina Svitolina.