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Tennis

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Sharapova's shoulder ends French Open bid

Two-time French Open champion Maria Sharapova has pulled out of the year's second grand slam because of her surgically repaired right shoulder.

The Russian announced her withdrawal on Instagram on Tuesday.

"Withdrawing from the French Open today. Sometimes the right decisions aren't always the easiest ones," she wrote.

The former world No.1, who has won five major titles, hasn't competed since late January, when she withdrew from a Russian tournament after winning her opening match.

In February, she had a "small procedure" on her shoulder to relieve pain from a fraying tendon and small labrum tear.

"In better news, I have returned to the practice court, and slowly building the strength back in my shoulder," she added.

The 32-year-old won the title at Roland Garros in 2012 to complete a career grand slam and won the clay-court major again in 2014.

It was the last time she won a grand slam.

Since then, the Russian has been only an occasional participant in the sport's four most prestigious events: This French Open will mark the eighth time in a span of 20 majors that she has been absent.

Sharapova was sidelined for 15 months after being suspended for failing a drug test at the Australian Open in January 2016. She returned in April 2017 but her ranking was too low to get into grand slam events.

The French Open denied her a wild-card entry, then she planned to try to qualify for Wimbledon before pulling out because of an injured left leg.

Her right shoulder has been an issue over the years; she cut her 2018 season short in September because of problems with it.

Sharapova originally had surgery on the shoulder in 2008 and was off the tour for about 10 months. She skipped the 2013 US Open because of the same shoulder.

Play begins at the French Open on May 26.

--End of article--

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