Four-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova pulled out of the U.S. Open Wednesday due to a right shoulder injury.
Sharapova, the 2006 U.S. Open champion, has played only one match since losing in the second round at Wimbledon.
The 26-year-old Russian posted an explanation on her Facebook page on why she withdrew.
I just wanted to let you know that withdrawing from the US Open has been a really tough decision to make. I have done everything I could since Wimbledon to get myself ready but it just wasn’t enough time. I have done many tests, received several opinions and it all comes down to taking the proper amount of time to heal my shoulder injury properly. It’s certainly not an easy decision to make ahead of one of my favorite tournaments, but I know it’s the right one that will get me back on the courts soon. I plan on taking the next few weeks off, receiving proper treatment and rehabilitation. I will miss being part of the US Open, but can’t wait for next year!
Sharapova, ranked No. 3 in the world, has struggled since reaching the French Open final, losing in the second round to American Sloane Stephens in the Western & Southern Open last week. The loss ended her brief stint with coach Jimmy Connors.
Sharapova’s surprising exit caps a tumultuous couple of weeks for the former No. 1 player.
The Russian was sidelined by a hip injury after Wimbledon. Then she hired Jimmy Connors as her coach, an arrangement that lasted all of one match, a loss, at the Mason, Ohio, hard-court tournament.
Sharapova last missed the U.S. Open in 2008, when she was off the tour for about 10 months because of surgery on her right shoulder.
She won her first major title since that operation at last year’s French Open, completing a career Grand Slam.
With her withdrawal, 2012 Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland will shift from No. 4 to No. 3 seed in the tournament. All other players below will go up one spot as well.
Former top-1o player Mardy Fish of the U.S. also withdrew from the Flushing Meadows tournament Wednesday, citing “personal reasons.”
Fish’s Twitter feed carried this message Wednesday: “Friends, unfortunately my health won’t allow me to compete this year at the US Open. Thank you for all your support.”
He has missed months of action at a time over the past two seasons. On Tuesday, Fish stopped playing in the third set of his match against Jarkko Nieminen at a hard-court tournament in Winston-Salem, N.C., because of heat stroke.
Fish has played only eight matches on the ATP World Tour in 2013, going 3-5. He skipped all of the Grand Slam tournaments this season while entering only five other events on the main tour.
A year ago, Fish reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open but withdrew before he was to face Roger Federer at that stage, saying it was for “precautionary measures” on doctor’s orders. Fish missed about 2 1/2 months earlier last season because of an accelerated heartbeat.
The U.S. Open main draw begins on Monday and runs through Sept. 9.