Sharapova pulls out of WTA Championships

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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.