WTA Tour

Sharapova out of Qatar Open

 Maria Sharapova (File)
Maria Sharapova (File)

Doha - Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the Qatar Open tournament to be held later this month due to an injury to her left forearm, organisers announced on Wednesday.

It is the second time the world number six has pulled out of a tournament this season because of the same injury.

Earlier this year, Sharapova also had to withdraw from her intended season opener, the Brisbane International.

"Unfortunately, I will not be able to play the Qatar Open because of my left forearm injury," the 28-year-old said in statement released by Qatar Tennis.

"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 has won in Qatar twice -  in 2005 and 2008.

This year she was meant to be part of a strong line-up in Doha in a tournament featuring number one seed Serena Williams, Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova.

Also there will be surprise Australian Open winner Angelique Kerber.

If seeding goes to plan Kerber and Williams will meet again in the final in Doha, just 28 days after their clash in Melbourne.

This year's Qatar Open will be played between February 21 and 27 and is the 14th time the tournament has been held.

It was the first professional women's tennis tournament staged in the Middle East and has a total prize money of $2 517 250.

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