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Maria Sharapova pulls out of French Open due to shoulder injury

File photo of Maria Sharapova. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Paris, France May 16, 2019, 01.58 PM (IST)

Maria Sharapova has pulled out of this year's French Open with a shoulder injury, the two-time former Roland Garros winner announced on Wednesday.

Sharapova, 32, a five-time Grand Slam champion, has not played since pulling out of a tournament in her native Russia at the end of January.

"Sometimes the right decisions aren't always the easiest ones," she said in a post on her Instagram account.

"In better news, I have returned to the practice court, and slowly building the strength back in my shoulder," she added with a picture of her lifting the Roland Garros trophy in 2014.

In February the world number 35 said she had undergone a small procedure to fix a long-standing shoulder problem.

The former world number one had missed out on a place in the Australian Open quarter-finals in January.

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

This year's French Open will run from May 26 until June 9, with Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep as defending champions

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Sharapova, 32, a five-time Grand Slam champion, has not played since pulling out of a tournament in her native Russia at the end of January