Maria Sharapova a doubt for Australian Open after suffering thigh injury

• Sharapova forced to retire from Shenzhen Open quarter-final
• First grand slam of the year begins on 14 January

Maria Sharapova is a doubt for this year’s Australian Open after being forced to retire from her Shenzhen Open quarter-final match against Aryna Sabalenka with a thigh injury.

The former world No 1 struggled to move on court and conceded the opening set 6-1, with coach Thomas Hogstedt urging the Russian to take her game to the next level or call for a medical timeout. “If you feel more like you did on the first point, then you just stop. Or you take a medical now,” he said. “But the shots are there ... you have to get it up to another gear.”

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