Tennis star Sharapova out of Olympics

Friday, August 1, 2008

Maria Sharapova in 2006.
Image: Andrew Huse.

International tennis star Maria Sharapova will miss the 2008 Beijing Olympics because of a shoulder injury sustained during the WTA Rogers Open in Montreal, Canada.

Sharapova, 21, defeated Poland's Marta Domachowska during the second round of the Open, but was in pain during the three-hour match.

"This is something that needs a lot of time to heal. It really hurts me to say I have to miss the Olympics," she said on her official website, according to the BBC. "After Wednesday's match I knew there was something seriously wrong with my shoulder." "There are so many mixed feelings because on Wednesday night they were almost positive there was something wrong with my nerve, which could have ultimately been much more serious," Sharapova said, according to The Daily Telegraph. "But after Thursday morning's tests, for the first time in a while, they were able to give me a different answer and a different problem. This is something that needs a lot of time to heal. It really hurts me to say I have to miss the Olympics."

The Associated Press reports that Sharapova, three-time Grand Slam champion, has has two small tears in tendons in her shoulder, discovered through an MRI exam and other medical tests.

The tennis section of the Olympics will start on August 11 and run through to August 15. The U.S. Open tournament will start Aug. 25 and the Associated Press reports that Sharapova may also miss that tournament.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Sharapova joins former world No 1 and Athens Olympic silver medalist Amelie Mauresmo and fellow French star Mary Pierce on a list of tennis players not competing in the 2008 Olympics.

The Kommersant reported Friday that Elena Dementieva, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara Safina will play for Russia in Beijing.