Maria Sharapova won't be in the 2017 Rogers Cup this week. The Russian suffered an injury while playing in Stanford last week, an injury that affects her forearm. That caused her to pull out of that draw and in short order she announced that she wouldn't be able to use her wild card to compete in Toronto. On the positive side for Sharapova, she was recently awarded a wild card for the 2017 China Open. That's a late-season stop on the WTA Tour that is a part of the post-US Open Asian swing -- tournaments that are all played on the hard court surface.

Sharapova struggling with form right now

Sharapova has not yet found her groove on tour since returning from her lengthy suspension. WTA Stuttgart, a clay court event that was played before the French Open, remains the only tournament where Sharapova was able to make the semifinals. In Madrid, Rome, and Stanford the Russian was able to win just one match per event. She may find her groove before Beijing, a tournament that she has played well at in the past. Currently she is expected in Cincinnati, however, with her withdrawal from Toronto, that feels a little up in the air right now. Some, like Chris Evert, have argued that Sharapova should not be awarded a wild card for the US Open but should try to get in via qualifying.

Beijing welcomes a past champion back

According to the news release from the website for the 2017 China Open the "EVP of International Affairs of China Open Promotions Limited (COL) & Co-Tournament Director of the China Open, brought news from the United States, that MARIA Sharapova, the five-time Grand Slam champion and 2014 China Open CHAMPION, will return to Beijing this autumn targeting another China Open title" (August 7th).

Sharapova last contested the draw in Beijing as part of her 2014 season.

That year she won the title through an impressive draw that included Ana Ivanovic and Petra Kvitova in the late rounds. Sharapova was also in the final in 2012, losing to Victoria Azarenka. The tournament is clearly one where she feels comfortable and it may help her get back into the higher rankings on tour. At present Sharapova is the World No. 149 and dependent on wild cards to get into events of significance.

Beijing is scheduled to take place from September 30th to October 8th this year. The following week there are two events on the WTA Tour, including the Tianjin Open from October 9th to 15th.

According to news from last month, Sharapova will also participate in the Tianjin Open. That will make that time of year very condensed for her. However, if she is successful in the events then it will help get her ranking higher and perhaps reduce her dependency on wild cards when 2018 rolls around.

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