Maria Sharapova won’t return in 2013 after WTA Championship withdrawal

(CNN) — Maria Sharapova pulled out of the season ending WTA Championships in Istanbul Monday, still plagued by a troubling right shoulder injury.

The Russian World No.3 has only played one match in the second half of 2013 and has admitted defeat in her battle to get fit for the prestigious tournament in Turkey later this month.

“I am very disappointed that I will not be able to play in the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships this year,” she told her official website .

“The fans in Istanbul have welcomed us each year with such intense passion and warmth, I will sincerely miss the energy and excitement they brought to the year-end tournament.”

Last year’s tournament was played to capacity crowds in the Sinan Erdem Dome and Sharapova progressed to the final where she was beaten in straight sets by current No.1 Serena Williams.

Sharapova showed fine form in the first half of this year, winning two tournaments and losing to the dominant Williams in the final of the French Open.

But at Wimbledon she lost in the second round to qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito before injury problems struck again.

Sharapova has battled shoulder injuries throughout her career and underwent major surgery in October 2008.

She defied the doubters to return to the upper echelons of the rankings, capped by her French Open triumph in 2012, completing a career grand slam of the major titles.

Sharapova will now bid to recuperate in time for the 2014 Australian Open in January.

Meanwhile, the WTA announced that Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, Italy’s Sara Errani and Jelena Jankovic had clinched their place in the eight-strong field for Istanbul.

They join Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na in the $6 million event with one place still to be decided.

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