Sharapova had an agreement with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), who awarded her a wildcard on the condition she entered into a two-year deal to play the tournament in 2017 and 2018 – but the Russian will now not have played in either year.
“I have good memories of Birmingham so I’m disappointed not to be able to play this year,” Sharapova said.
“I need to take care of my body and make sure I stay healthy and sometimes that means you have to take tough decisions like this one. I wish everyone in Birmingham a great tournament.”
Sharapova hinted that she might need to take some time out after her quarter-final defeat to Garbine Muguruza at the French Open, depsite insisting she was “fairly healthy”.
“I think my body will need a little bit of rest, but, yeah, mentally I’m ready to go,” Sharapova said in Paris.
“You can look at today and, you know, although I don’t want to erase it completely, there are a lot of things that I need to look at and face and work towards after this match.
“But when I’m talking about progression or looking back at the weeks, I think there are a lot of good things like the way my body has handled the long matches that I have played, the back-to-backs.
“Looking at Madrid, Rome, I think that’s always one of the toughest back-to-backs on the calendar, especially on a surface like clay. So to come out of these weeks and feel fairly healthy is a great thing.”
But now it appears her recovery has not gone as well as planned, having decided not to play in the Birmingham tournament which starts this weekend.
Sharapova’s withdrawal coincided Madison Keys also announcing her decision not to play after picking up an abdominal injury.
“I am sorry to have to pull out of Birmingham this year,” Keys said.
“Everyone knows how much I love playing on grass and I was looking forward to starting my grass season there, but unfortunately I aggravated an injury I sustained in Rome and need to rest as much as I can right now.”
However, it was not all bad news on Wednesday evening for tournament organisers, who were able to confirm the addition of Donna Vekic to the line-up, which still features the likes of Johanna Konta, Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova and Naomi Osaka.
Mickleach.com is your news, entertainment, music & fashion website. We provide you with the latest news and videos straight from the entertainment industry.