Maria Sharapova has pulled out of the US Open because of a shoulder injury. The world No 3, who was said to be planning a temporary change of name to publicise her Sugarpova confectionery business during the tournament, said that withdrawing from the year's final Grand Slam event, which begins on Monday, had been "a really tough decision".
Sharapova, who was out of the game for the best part of a year following shoulder surgery in 2008, has an inflamed right shoulder and has played only once since Wimbledon. It has been a tough time for the Russian, who parted company with her coach, Thomas Hogstedt, then fired his replacement, Jimmy Connors, after just one match, which she lost to Sloane Stephens in Cincinnati last week.
"I have done everything I could since Wimbledon to get myself ready but it just wasn't enough time," Sharapova said. "I have done many tests, received several opinions and it all comes down to taking the proper amount of time to heal my shoulder injury properly.
"It's certainly not an easy decision to make ahead of one of my favourite tournaments, but I know it's the right one that will get me back on the courts soon. I plan on taking the next few weeks off, receiving proper treatment and rehabilitation."
Sharapova's withdrawal sees Agnieszka Radwanska move up to No 3 in the seedings, while Britain's Laura Robson, who is seeded for the first time at a Grand Slam tournament, is promoted to No 30. Robson is the first Briton to be seeded at a Grand Slam event for 26 years.
The draw sent Robson into a first-round meeting with the 32-year-old Spaniard, Lourdes Dominguez Lino, the world No 53. Robson has lost both their previous meetings, in Beijing last year and in Katowice on clay this year, but the 19-year-old Briton has good memories from 12 months ago here, when she beat Kim Clijsters and Li Na before losing to Sam Stosur in the fourth round.
Robson could meet Li again in the third round if she beats Dominguez Lino and either France's Caroline Garcia – once hailed by Andy Murray as a future world No 1 – or the American Shelby Rogers in the second round.
Heather Watson is the only other Briton definitely through to the main draw in the women's singles. In the first round she has been paired with the world No 23, Romania's Simona Halep, who beat Marion Bartoli last week in the Wimbledon champion's last match before her retirement.