Sharapova to play in Brisbane despite neck injury


01:27 PM December 27th, 2012

December 27th, 2012 01:27 PM

FILE – In this June 9, 2012 file photo, Maria Sharapova, of Russia, reacts after defeating Sara Errani, of Italy, 6-3, 6-2 in their women’s final match in the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Sharapova dropped to the clay in both celebration and disbelief after becoming the 10th woman to complete the tennis version of a career Grand Slam. (AP Photo/David Vincent, File)

BRISBANE, Australia — Maria Sharapova has assured organizers of the Brisbane International tennis event that she will start her Australian Open preparations at the tournament despite her withdrawal from a South Korean exhibition this week with a neck injury.

The No.2-ranked Sharapova was scheduled to play Caroline Wozniacki in Seoul on Friday, but pulled out on Wednesday with a strained neck muscle and later apologized to her South Korean fans on Facebook.

Brisbane tournament director Camerson Pearson said Thursday that Sharapova’s manager had contacted him and said the four-time Grand Slam singles winner and reigning French Open champion would arrive in Brisbane on Friday, two days earlier than planned.

Serena Williams is also among the entries in Brisbane.

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