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Sharapova unfit for Dubai tournament

DUBAI — Maria Sharapova has dropped out of this week’s Dubai Championships because of a viral illness.

The Russian is unbeaten this year after winning the Qatar Open title on Sunday, following her triumph in January’s Australian Open

The world number five’s first match was scheduled for Tuesday’s evening session but she said: Unfortunately I have been battling a virus for several days and it’s reached a point where I’m unable to compete.

I flew to Dubai right after my final in Doha and woke up on Monday feeling really fatigued and stuffed up with a cough.

After trying to hit a little bit in the evening, I came to the conclusion that I’m realistically not going to be ready to play five matches in five days.

It’s been such a great and healthy start to the year, and I don’t want to jeopardize that by making the wrong decisions, as I have in the past.

This is really disappointing to me, but I do intend to come back to Dubai next year and hopefully have a great tournament.

She played through the Doha tournament with the same virus, she claims, and felt worse when she woke up in Dubai Monday.

I think it’s a lot of flying which has done it, she said. I have done a lot of traveling in the last few weeks – going from Australia to Israel, then home, with no rest at all, practising for Doha and going there.

I have to be smart about my decisions and I have made some wrong ones in the past – getting injured and getting sick, and going out there and not being 100 percent. Then you are liable to hurt yourself. I have a long year.

If you are not 110 percent mentally and physically you owe it to the fans not to go out there and play half fit.

Realistically, thinking about it, I didn’t think I could play five matches here, and as an athlete you have to be mentally and physically ready. After a few really long weeks you need a rest.

She is planning a vacation at her home in Florida. It will be somewhere where there is a limited amount of people around, and I’ll have a book in front of me and read. Which will give me a fresh frame of mind for the next tournament.

Sharapova expects to compete next at the WTA Tour event in Indian Wells, starting on March 16, and to follow it by playing the following fortnight in Miami.

Sharapova will be replaced in the Dubai draw by lucky loser Akiko Morigami, the world number 50 from Japan. E-mail to a friend

Sharapova unfit for Dubai tournament – found here.

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February 26, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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