Sharapova withdraws from Indian Wells

Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from this month’s BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in California because of a persistent arm injury.

The BNP Paribas Open will be played from 9-20 March and Russia’s five-time grand slam champion will not be present.

Since losing in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open the world number seven has taken time off from the game to allow a nagging left forearm issue to mend.

However, on Friday the 28-year-old confirmed that the recovery process had not gone quite as it should have and that she would have to postpone her return to tennis.

“I am extremely disappointed that I am unable to compete in this year’s BNP Paribas Open,” said the double Indian Wells winner.

“I have been focused on healing my left forearm injury and tried to get my body to be 100% ready to play this event, as it is one of my favourite events on the WTA and so close to my home in LA.”