Sharapova comeback delayed after Stuttgart withdrawal

Maria Sharapova's return to the WTA Tour has been put on hold after she withdrew from next week's Stuttgart Open.

The Russian has not played competitively since a last-32 win over Daria Gavrilova in St Petersburg in January – a triumph which preceded her pulling out of that tournament due to a shoulder injury.

Sharapova was scheduled to play in Germany, where she is a brand ambassador for the tournament's sponsor Porsche, but the five-time grand slam winner will sit out to continue her recovery.

"To all my amazing fans in Germany that travel to see me play in Stuttgart each year, I am really sorry to inform you that I have just ran out of time to be ready to play in Stuttgart," read a statement from Sharapova - a three-time winner in Stuttgart.

"I am making very good progress but just not ready to compete at the highest level."

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