Wednesday October 26th, 2011

ISTANBUL -- After losing her second round-robin match against Li Na on Wednesday, Maria Sharapova withdrew from the WTA Championships, citing a left ankle sprain.

"The ankle didn't recover as well as I had hoped after the first round," Sharapova said. "The swelling got a little worse. It just limits my movement a lot and it's not something I really want to risk, especially at the end of the season knowing that I have some time to recover and let it heal naturally instead of really pushing it and damaging something else. I tried to push it as much as I can, but I think at this point it was just maybe a little too soon."

Sharapova lost to Li 7-6 (4), 6-4, one day after falling to Samantha Stosur 6-1, 7-5. These were her first matches since injuring the ankle in Tokyo a month ago.

"I did everything I could," Sharapova said. "There's not one more thing that I could have done. I maybe could have done quicker type of healing things or some type of anti-inflammatory shots, but I'm not really that type of girl. I like to let things heal naturally."

Marion Bartoli, who qualified for Istanbul as the first alternate, will take Sharapova's place and play Victoria Azarenka on Friday. Sharapova's withdrawal means Caroline Wozniacki will finish the year at No. 1.

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