Sharapova comeback delayed after Stuttgart withdrawal

Former world number one Maria Sharapova is a three-time Stuttgart Open winner but she is not fit enough to fight for the title next week.

Maria Sharapova in action   -  Getty Images

Maria Sharapova's return to the WTA Tour has been put on hold after she withdrew from next week's Stuttgart Open.

The Russian has not played competitively since a last-32 win over Daria Gavrilova in St Petersburg in January – a triumph which preceded her pulling out of that tournament due to a shoulder injury.

Maria Sharapova was scheduled to play in Germany, where she is a brand ambassador for the tournament's sponsor Porsche, but the five-time grand slam winner will sit out to continue her recovery.

"To all my amazing fans in Germany that travel to see me play in Stuttgart each year, I am really sorry to inform you that I have just ran out of time to be ready to play in Stuttgart," read a statement from Sharapova - a three-time winner in Stuttgart.

"I am making very good progress but just not ready to compete at the highest level."

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