LONDON - Maria Sharapova has decided to withdraw from the whole 2017 grass-court season.
As revealed by Sportsmail on Saturday, the Russian was struggling badly with injury and has decided to skip Wimbledon to repair a torn muscle. It means an almighty media scrum will be avoided for the qualifying event at the homely Bank of England Sports Ground, restricted to 1,000 tickets for the first time.
However, a spokesman for the All England Club said yesterday that the show-court stand being constructed there for the first time will still be erected despite the reduced demand.
Sharapova plans to play next on the hard courts of the Stanford Classic, California, at the end of July. The US Open must now decide whether she should get a main-draw wildcard as her ranking will not be good enough to merit direct entry.
In the first three months of her comeback she will have been able to play only three tournaments.