Injured Sharapova quits at China Open
Updated: 2005-09-25 08:33
Maria Sharapova quit because of a chest injury while trailing in the China
Open semifinals Saturday, sending Russia's Maria Kirilenko into the title match
against Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld.
Russia's Maria Sharapova gestures to the crowd
after withdrawing from her semifinal match against compatriot Maria
Kirilenko at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing Saturday Sept.
24, 2005. [AP]
Kirilenko, ranked 45th, was ahead 6-4, 2-1 and "very surprised" when
Sharapova stopped. The decision by the top-ranked Russian prompted boos from the
crowd at a tournament beset by injuries.
Sharapova said a muscle on the right side of her chest is inflamed, causing
recurring pain. The problem began in Zurich, Switzerland, last October, and she
said a switch to heavier balls in that tournament may have been a factor.
The pain "comes on unexpectedly from day to day," she said. "It's very
Sharapova said her father, also her coach, decided to end the match Saturday.
"I'm very disappointed, obviously," she said. "With every shot, with every
forehand and serve I hit, it got worse and worse."
Groenefeld defeated Poland's Marta Domachowska 7-5, 6-3 in the other
semifinal. The big-serving Groenefeld, ranked 30th, won the double's
championship in Bali last week. Groenefeld and Kirilenko and will be going for a
first WTA singles title.
Sharapova's pullout followed injuries to Serena and Venus Williams and
Davenport withdrew before the tournament because of a lower back strain.
Venus Williams pulled out before her quarterfinal because of a leg injury.
Defending champion Serena Williams lost in the second round to China's Sun
Tiantian and attributed her poor play to an ailing leg.