STUTTGART, Germany - Former three-time champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart due to a continuing right shoulder injury, the tournament has announced on Thursday.
Sharapova had been awarded a Top 20 wildcard into the Premier-level indoor red clay event.
“To all my amazing fans in Germany that travel to see me play my favourite tournament in Stuttgart every year, I am really sorry to inform you that I have just ran out of time to be ready to play in Stuttgart,” Sharapova told fans in a statement.
“I am making very good progress but just not ready to compete at the highest level.”
A champion in Stuttgart in 2012-2014, Sharapova has been away from the courts since the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy in January with her shoulder injury struggle - an injury that she’s battled with since undergoing rotator cuff surgery in 2008.
The Mutua Madrid Open - which begins on May 4 - was to be her next scheduled event. However, they indicated in a tweet on Friday that Sharapova would also be missing their tournament this year, wishing her a happy birthday and hoping to see her in 2020.
After skipping the Middle East swing, Sharapova announced in February that she underwent “a small procedure” on her right shoulder that left her out of Indian Wells and Miami.
"As many of you know, I have struggled with shoulder pain since last summer,” she said. “For ten weeks post US Open, I focused on getting my rotator cuff and scapula strong to support a surgically repaired fraying tendon and a small labrum tear. Although my shoulder got strong, it didn't help the pain on impact.
"After a few different opinions in a few different countries, last week I had a small procedure done which will take a few weeks to heal.
"Although this has been a very long process, I am incredibly committed to getting back strong and more importantly without the pain I was playing with at the beginning of the year."
Other withdrawals from Stuttgart include Elina Svitolina, Sloane Stephens, Danielle Collins and Dominika Cibulkova.