An ongoing left arm injury has forced former world No.1 Maria Sharapova to withdraw from the Western and Southern Open.
With her eyes on the upcoming US Open at Flushing Meadows later this month, Sharapova announced her decision to pull out of the WTA Premier Five event in Cincinnati on Sunday (AEST).
Sharapova, who has been back on the WTA Tour since April after serving a 15-month ban for doping, was handed a wildcard for the tournament and was due to face French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the opening round.
However, the five-time grand slam champion will skip Cincinnati, having sat out the Rogers Cup in Toronto after her withdrawal at the Bank of the West Classic.
"I arrived in Cincinnati yesterday eager to play. However, [after] the doctor’s advice on site, as a precaution for the US Open, I am unfortunately withdrawing from the tournament with the left forearm injury I sustained in Stanford," Sharapova said.
"I want to thank the tournament for the wildcard opportunity and really look forward to competing here next year."
Sharapova made a comeback from an eight-week absence with a leg problem in her first-round win over Jennifer Brady in Stanford.
But an arm injury forced the Russian to pull out ahead of her scheduled round-two clash against Lesia Tsurenko, and she has not returned since.