Maria Sharapova withdrew from the Brisbane International on Tuesday (January 1) due to inflammation around her collarbone and the world No. 2 is still unable to hit a serve just two weeks before the start of the Australian Open.
She said, "It's much more important for me to be healthy and to be ready than to try to go out and play a few matches. Last year was obviously a good example but it wasn't the first time. It's kind of the way that I've always built my career on the fact that it's very important for me to go into something like the Australian Open believing and knowing that I'm healthy, that I'm confident. I don't exactly need to pick my tournaments in order to feel that way."
Sharapova, who had spoken optimistically about the new season on Monday (December 31), was forced to withdraw from her second-round match against Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova in Brisbane.
The French Open champion had also pulled out of an exhibition match against Caroline Wozniacki at the end of December in Seoul because of a sore collarbone.
While the season's first grand slam is set to start on Jan. 14, Sharapova was not overly concerned about her preparations, having been through a similar situation last year when she also pulled out of the Brisbane event with an ankle injury but came back to reach the final of the Australian Open.