When the U.S. Open starts on Monday morning, Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova will not be there. The No. 3 seed withdrew from the tournament on Sunday afternoon, citing a right leg injury. She has not played since losing to Serena Williams at Wimbledon this year.
This is the third time in two years that the 2006 U.S. Open champion will miss the final major of the tennis season. The schedule had her set to face No. 1 Williams in the semi-finals, if each made it that far.
“Unfortunately I will not be able to compete in this (year’s U.S.) Open. I have done everything possible to be ready but it was just not enough time,” Sharapova announced on her Facebook page, right as the USTA issued a press release. “To all my amazing fans, I will be back in the Asian swing in a few weeks and look forward to finishing the year healthy and strong.”
Sharapova’s absence could actually mean a more challenging semi-final for Williams, considering Sharapova has not beaten Williams since 2004.