Rome, Italy – Maria Sharapova will not win a third straight Italian Open after withdrawing from the French Open tune-up on Friday because of illness.
Sharapova reached the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-1 pasting of American Sloane Stephens on Thursday, but said Friday she was unable to continue because of a problem that started last week in Madrid.
"I'm sorry for having to withdraw from the tournament this morning," said Sharapova on her Twitter account. "Didn't recover after being sick last week and it got me again last night."
Sharapova was set to face Italian crowd favorite Sara Errani on Friday in a rematch of last year's French Open final. Errani will advance to the semifinals with the walkover win.
The second-ranked Russian expects to be fine when she begins defense of her French Open title on May 26.
"The doctor thinks I didn't take it easy last week and if I don't take care of it now then it might worsen," said Sharapova in a statement through the tournament. "It is one of those things and the body is not ready and with a bigger goal around the corner it's important to make the right and smart decisions. I have a lot of clay matches and so this is not lacking before the French Open."
Sharapova also played last week in Madrid and lost to Serena Williams in the final.