Shenzhen Open: Injured Maria Sharapova Retires From Quarters

WTA Shenzhen Maria Sharapova retires against Arina Sabalenka

WTA Shenzhen Maria Sharapova retires against Arina Sabalenka

Sharapova, ranked world number 29, was trailing 4-2 in the second set when she made a decision to throw in the towel after coach Thomas Hogstedt urged her to consider quitting during an on-court coaching break.

After receiving treatment off-court between sets, Sharapova sprinted out of the blocks to record a service hold and then pushed Sabalenka in the next game, creating three break-point opportunities.

Sharapova, who won the Australian Open in 2008, last tasted WTA success in 2017 at the Tianjin Open against Sabalenka after a 15-month doping suspension.

Riske was making her third appearance in the final at Shenzhen.

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With the Australian Open starting in Melbourne on January 14, the 31-year-old Russian faces a race against time to be fit for the first major of 2019.

"If I need to play two matches in one day, I'm going to do that", Sabalenka said. "Hopefully she will get well soon".

World No 13 Sabalenka will face the victor of Romanian qualifier Monica Niculescu's clash with China's Wang Yafan for a spot in the Shenzhen final.

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