Sharapova forced out of Doha

Two-time champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from February’s Qatar Total Open with a left forearm injury.

The injury has plagued her since the start of the season.

“Unfortunately, I will not be able to play the Qatar Total Open because of my left forearm injury,” Sharapova said in a statement.

“I would like to wish the tournament and all the great fans in Doha a great week of tennis and I hope to see them next year.”

Sharapova also pulled out of the Brisbane International back in January due to the same injury, although she did play in the Australian Open a week later, reaching the quarter-finals before bowing out to world number one Serena Williams.

After that defeat, the Russian said she would not risk playing again before the injury is fully healed.

“I’m going to go and take care of my forearm first.

“I think that’s really important. I think this will be a time to just get myself ready for a long year.

“I don’t see myself playing anything before Indian Wells.”

The premier-level Qatar Total Open gets under way on February 21 at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.