MOSCOW, August 22 (R-Sport) – The withdrawal of world women’s tennis No. 3 Maria Sharapova from the US Open is a huge blow for the Grand Slam, Russia national teams coach Vladimir Kamelzon told R-Sport Thursday.
The Russian star decided to skip the last slam of the year to properly treat a right shoulder injury she has been nursing since Wimbledon.
“Sharapova’s non-participation in the US Open will surely reduce spectator interest in the competition,” Kamelzon said. “There are three top players now who raise the biggest interest in the tennis environment: (Serena) Williams, (Victoria) Azarenka and Sharapova.”
Sharapova, 26, has appeared on court only once since a shock defeat to Portuguese world No. 131 Michelle Larcher de Brito in the second round of Wimbledon, losing to Sloane Stephens in Cincinnati last week.
On her Facebook page, Sharapova said she would take the next few weeks off to receive proper rehabilitation. It is the same shoulder that made her miss 10 months in 2008-2009 seasons, leaving her outside the top 100.
Sharapova's withdrawal bumps Agnieszka Radwanska up to the third seed slot, while her compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova suddenly finds herself among the seeds at No. 32.
The other seeded Russians are Maria Kirilenko (14), Nadia Petrova (20),Yelena Vesnina (22), Yekaterina Makarova (24) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (27).
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