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Sharapova withdraws from Rome with lingering shoulder injury

ROME (AP) — Three-time champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the upcoming Italian Open as she continues to recover from a right shoulder injury. Rome organizers announced Wednesday that Sharapova's spot in the draw for the May 13-19 tournament will be taken by 45th-ranked Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, hasn't played since pulling out of a tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia, in late January after winning her first-round match. She won three matches at the Australian Open and is ranked 28th.

Sharapova said in February that she had undergone a "small procedure" on her right shoulder that would need a few weeks to heal. She added that she has struggled since midway through last year with shoulder pain caused by a fraying tendon and small labrum tear.

Missing Rome puts Sharapova in doubt for the French Open, which begins at the end of the month. Sharapova won the Italian Open in 2011, 2012 and 2015.

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