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    Maria Sharapova withdraws from Italian Open due to shoulder injury

    May 2, 2019
    PHOTO: AP

    ROME — Three-time champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the upcoming Italian Open as she continues to recover from a right shoulder injury.

    Rome organizers announced on Wednesday that Sharapova's spot in the draw for the May 13 to 19 tournament will be taken by 45th-ranked Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia.

    Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, hasn't played since pulling out of a tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia, in late January after winning her first-round match. She won three matches at the Australian Open and is ranked 28th.

    Sharapova said in February that she had undergone a "small procedure" on her right shoulder that would need a few weeks to heal. She added that she has struggled since midway through last year with shoulder pain caused by a fraying tendon and small labrum tear.

    Missing Rome puts Sharapova in doubt for the French Open, which begins at the end of the month.

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    Sharapova won the Italian Open in 2011, 2012 and 2015.

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    PHOTO: AP
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