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Sharapova out of Australian women's hardcourt with right shoulder injury
Updated: 2005-12-24 13:53

Maria Sharapova has pulled out the Australian women's hardcourt tennis tournament at Royal Pines due to a strained right shoulder.

"I am very disappointed to have to withdraw because my right shoulder is not yet ready to allow me to compete at the tour level," Sharapova said in a statement Saturday.

"I hope to be able to play (there) in 2007, and will be doing everything possible in consultation with my doctors to be healthy enough to play the Australian Open (in January)."

Sharapova, 18, suffered the injury in the second half of this season after she became the first Russian-born female to reach the top ranking. She reached at least the quarterfinals at all 15 events she played, losing to the eventual champion at all four majors this year.

The Royal Pines event will mark the return from retirement of former world No. 1 Martina Hingis, who also plans to play in a Sydney tournament the following week, and the Australian Open on a wild card beginning January 16.

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