Russian tennis sensation Maria Sharapova has announced her withdrawal from the Hawaii Open. This continues the unlucky trend that has seen tennis stars pulling out of the Australian Open warm-up event. Sharapova is the latest in the list of tennis stars that also includes Japanese Ace Kei Nishikori and Canadian stars Milos Raonic and Bianca Andreescu.
Maria Sharapova confessed that she finds herself ill-prepared for the tournament. She made a statement to express her disappointment: “I’m disappointed to announce my withdrawal from the Hawaii Open. I wish I could be there to see my fans who were coming to watch me play”.
However, Sharapova’s loss became a window of opportunity for three-time Hawaii high school state champion Alyssa Tobita. She will be replacing Sharapova at the tournament. The 23-year-old Tobita is currently placed at no 1073 in the world rankings.
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What Has Been Sharapova’s Recent Past?
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Maria Sharapova has been struggling with injuries ever since her doping ban ended. However, Maria was confident of making a comeback at the Australian Open.
Talking about the Hawaii Open, the tournament has been plagued with big-ticket withdrawals. After Kei Nishikori pulling out, the tournament really needed Maria Sharapova’s star power to remain relevant. This tournament is an invitation-only event which is used by players to prepare for the Summer Down Under.
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After Sharapova’s withdrawal, Germany’s Angique Kerber remains the top attraction on the women’s side in the tournament. Apart from her, Sam Querry and emerging star Taylor Fritz will also be participating in the tournament. However, the tournament will now remain a pale shadow of what its original lineup made it out to be.