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Maria Sharapova withdraws from the Qatar Open

Sharapova has won in Qatar and was a semi-finalist in her last appearance in 2013.

Sharapova is yet to recover from the forearm injury

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova was forced to withdraw from Qatar Open as she is yet to recover from the forearm injury she sustained at the Australian Open, the organisers announced on Wednesday.

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The five-time Grand Slam winner has not played since her quarter-final defeat to Serena Williams in Melbourne last month, although she was included in Russia's squad for the Fed Cup last weekend, reports Xinhua.

"Unfortunately, I will not be able to play the Qatar Open because of my left forearm injury," the 28-year-old said in a statement released by Qatar Tennis.

"I would like to wish the tournament and all the great fans in Doha a great week of tennis and I hope to see them next year," she added.

Sharapova has won in Qatar twice -- in 2005 and 2008 -- and was a semi-finalist in her last appearance in 2013. The Qatar Open, with a prize money of $2,517,250, will be played between February 21 and 27 this year.

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