The director general St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy Tennis Tournament, deputy chairman of the board Gazprom PJSC Alexander Medvedev visited the press-center of the tournament and answered the questions about Maria Sharapova’s health during an improvised press-conference.
“As it always happens in life, happy moments alternate with sad ones, – Alexander noted. – In this situation, sadly, we are talking about a chronic shoulder injury. Already in the first match the shoulder started bothering Maria. And yesterday, when she was having a training session, it became obvious, that the shoulder not only doesn’t work the way it should, but it also really hurts. Let’s remember, that tennis is not like you ice hockey, where, barring death, everybody plays in play-offs. Here we have only one player and nobody can back her up. Maria made the final decision in the morning in the gym, where she realized that the shoulder doesn’t function properly. The hope that during the night everything will stabilize failed to materialize. There are risks of aggravating the injury to the extent that not only it will bring her to the end of her career, but also endanger her normal life. And those risks are very great. I myself, having experienced a serious sports injury, can say that recovery is the most difficult process. Especially if it is not healed properly and becomes chronic.
Maria really wanted to play, and her friend texted me tonight that he will definitely come back for the weekend. But it so happened that Maria just can’t play, period. I think that there is only one thing left for us to do. We should thank Maria for coming here to our tournament, for playing a brilliant first match, a very interesting match and a thrilling one, too. We wish her an expeditious recovery from her injury, to play not only this season, but the next one too. And we also wish her to come back to our tournament”.
Answering the question about “how serious Maria’s withdrawal will impact the tournament,” Alexander Medvedev noted: “The history of St. The Petersburg Ladies Trophy shows: we have such a lineup that towards the final days of the event there is always a full stadium. And we still have such stars as Kvitova, who beat Azarenka, and Kasatkina, and Georges. This is a very strong lineup. Of course, there is no doubt that Maria is a superstar. But recovering from chronic injuries is a difficult process. And if you go for a surgery, you will have to skip half a year, and it will put an end to the whole season”.