TENNIS: Maria Sharapova pulls out of WTA Championships set for Istanbul
World number three Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the end-of-season WTA Championships in the Turkish city of Istanbul later this month.
She has pulled out because of the right shoulder injury which saw her missing the US Open in August and September.
The 26-year-old Russian has not played since losing to Sloane Stephens in the second round of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati in August.
Sharapova's withdrawal means former champion Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani and Jelena Jankovic all qualify for Istanbul.
They will join Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na – who had all already booked their places – at the eight-woman event, which begins on October 22.
There is one spot remaining, with German Angelique Kerber favourite to claim it.
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