World No. 2 Maria Sharapova has pulled out of the Italian Open sitting illness. The Russian was due to play Sara Errani in Friday’s quarter- finals clash before announcing on the social microblogging site Twitter that she relapsed back to her last week illness.
“I’m sorry,”Sharapova wrote on Twitter (@MariaSharapova). Didn’t recover after being sick last week and it got me again.”
The 26- year- old is expected to start the defence of her French Open title she won last year from May 26 but the recent announcement has been seen as a setback to her preparation.
Top seed Serena Williams moved into the semi- finals of the Rome Open after comfortably defeating Carla Suarez Navaro of Spain 6-2, 6-0.
The world number one’s victory over the Spaniard means she has beaten her previous best run of 21 successful win, which she recorded in 2002 and 2003 making it her 22nd victory in a row.
The American is expected to play either two- time Rome winner Jelena Jankovic or Romanian qualifier Simona Halep, who were playing later on Friday.
Italian Errani’s opponent will be either third- seed Victoria Azarenka or ninth- seeded Sam Stosur.
Sharapova has been in good form after reaching the Madrid Open final last week, only to be beaten by Williams 6-1, 6-4.
The Russian, on her way to the quarter- finals comfortably defeated American Stephens Sloane 6-2, 6-1 on Thursday.