Maria Sharapova hasn’t featured in a tennis match since he drubbing by Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows.
With the season coming to a close the former world number has lined up her final two tournaments of the season with a little surprise.
There will be no appearance in Moscow at all this year.
Sharapova always go to Moscow which is a WTA Premier event with just over $1,000,000 on offer in prize money but instead is off to Luxembourg which is an international event with just $250,000 of prize money on offer.
Before that though Maria will be arriving in Austria in Linz where she has featured since 2006 when she won the title there.
Maria has said about returning to Linz;
“I have so many great memories of the Linz tournament and I am really excited to be coming back to see many of my amazing fans,”
“I am very appreciative to the tournament and the sponsors and just very excited to play.”
It does make more sense instead of heading out to Asia for the last week of the hard court swing out there and staying in Europe.
The decision not to go Asia and to stay in Europe and of course miss Moscow is different but I’ve said I think she needs that.
Maria turning up at big tournaments with wildcards and protective rankings wasn’t working. I’ve said before and I said straight after New York go and play smaller tournaments.
I don’t always see the point in players returning from injury going from big tournament to big tournament and five weeks on the trot go home in round one, what do you benefit from that?
I think this is a clever more from Maria who has had injury and form issues this year and could have shut her season down.
These two weeks beginning next Monday will be a big indicator in where she is at going into 2020 and ideally what is her target?
For Linz next week there is also Petra Kvitova (top seed), Belinda Bencic and Donna Vekic on due to play there.
Over in Luxembourg Angie Kerber will be the top seed and Julia Georges will be attempting to defend her title.