WTA Stanford (2017 Bank of the West Classic) took another hit on Wednesday. Last week at this time the tournament had a very promising list of players. However, Victoria Azarenka pulled out shortly after getting a Cincinnati wild card, citing illness. On Wednesday, the field lost another former World No. 1 player as Maria Sharapova pulled out of her second-round match against Lesia Tsurenko. Sharapova cited a doctor's recommendation not to participate further in the Stanford draw.

Sharapova's statement on withdrawing

"Unfortunately, I have to withdraw from today's match," Sharapova said, referencing her second-round match against Tsurenko. "Toward the end of Monday night's match, I felt pain in my left forearm. After yesterday's scan, the doctor has recommended I don't risk further injury. Monday night's crowd was so special, and I wish I could continue playing, but I have to make a preventative decision."

Sharapova was into the Stanford draw with a wild card.

She entered this week as the 171st-ranked player on the WTA Tour. While Stanford was a small event for her, just the one match-win will help her ranking situation out a little bit. For players ranked so low, any kind of success in tour-level matches can make a big difference. Sharapova projects to a ranking of about 145th to 150th next week. Her exact ranking could still change based on how other players do with Washington, Stanford, and challenger events still running.

What will become of her Rogers Cup entry?

Sharapova has wild-card entries coming up for bigger tournaments. She is expected to be in both the 2017 Rogers Cup and the 2017 Western & Southern Open. Those events will be played in Montreal next week and in Cincinnati the week after, respectively. Whether the left-forearm injury will prohibit Sharapova from participating, in either event, remains to be seen.

However, it certainly isn't Good News that she should suffer an injury this close to two major events on tour. It's not every tournament that she gets a wild card into. Her plan right now has to be to seize some major ranking points on tour to get her ranking high enough that she no longer has to count on wild cards to get into draws.

The Stanford event will continue on Thursday. Madison Keys is still in the tournament and so is Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza.

They'll resume action on Friday with Thursday belonging to the bottom half of the draw. Petra Kvitova will open her tournament against Kateryna Bondarenko. Americans Catherine Bellis, Alison Riske, Coco Vandeweghe, and Nicole Gibbs will also be active according to the order of play.

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