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Emotional but 'proud' Sharapova forced to quit Wimbledon in pain with yet another injury

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 3 Jul 2019
  • Sharapova retires one game from defeat in Wimbledon opener with an arm injury
  • The Russian had only just returned to tour after five months out following shoulder surgery
Maria Sharapova (PA Images)

Fifteen years after capturing her maiden Grand Slam title as a swashbuckling teenager at Wimbledon, a teary-eyed Maria Sharapova was forced to retire in pain from her opening round match on Tuesday.

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Sharapova, who only returned to the tour a couple of weeks ago after a five-month spell on the sidelines due to an ongoing shoulder injury, retired while trailing Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 5-0 as she struggled to deal with a left arm problem.

Currently ranked No. 80 in the world, Sharapova served for the match in the second set at 5-3, but she would go on to lose eight of the next nine games before quitting with Parmentier just one game away from victory.

"I've had a history of a tendon in my left forearm flaring up," Sharapova said as she retired for the first time in her career in a Grand Slam match. "It happened today in the second set. It's very rare that I withdraw from a match in the middle of the match. That certainly means that it's painful."

It’s the latest in a long string of setbacks for the former World No. 1 after returning from a 15-month doping ban just over two years ago.

Maria Sharapova (PA Images)
However, despite failing to come close to producing the level of tennis she did before her suspension, Sharapova says she is ‘proud’ of the way she’s battling to keep her career alive as her body continues to let her down.

"I'm still proud that I'm here. This is not the easy way. I think the easy way would be just for me to maybe do other things," said Sharapova who was close to tears in her post-match news conference.
"This is far from easy. I've never taken the easy route. I've always worked, committed, focused. Like I said, these moments are hard, but I love what I do. I still have a lot of passion for it."

Sharapova is yet to win a match at Wimbledon since making the semi-finals back in 2015. The 32-year-old also bombed out in the opening round last year to Vitalia Diatchenko.

It remains to be seen how long Sharapova’s arm injury will keep her off the tour, with the Russian revealing she’d already underwent a quick scan but not disclosing the extent of the damage.

Meanwhile, Parmentier goes on to face 30th seed Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the third round after the Spaniard beat former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in straight sets.


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Emotional but 'proud' Sharapova forced to quit Wimbledon in pain with yet another injury

Fifteen years after capturing her maiden Grand Slam title as a swashbuckling teenager at Wimbledon, a teary-eyed Maria Sharapova was forced to retire in pain from her opening round match on Tuesday.

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