LOS ANGELES: Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from next month´s WTA Indian Wells Open after failing to overcome a right shoulder injury, tournament organizers said Wednesday.

The 31-year-old Russian star has been struggling with a right shoulder problem which forced her withdrawal from the Saint Petersburg tournament last month.

Organisers of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells announced on Wednesday, the same problem had prompted her withdrawal from the March 4-17 event in California.

Sharapova´s place in the main draw will be taken by Germany´s Mona Barthel, organizers said.

Sharapova has been struggling back to top fitness since watching from the sidelines during her 15-month doping ban that ended in 2017.

The former world number one missed out on a place in the Australian Open quarterfinals last month, but insisted she still believes she can increase her tally of five Slam titles.

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