Maria Sharapova retires from match in Rome with thigh injury

ROME -- Maria Sharapova retired from her Italian Open match Tuesday, citing an apparent left thigh injury hours after learning she would not be granted a wild card into the French Open.

Sharapova was leading 4-6, 6-3, 2-1 against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni when she called it quits in the second round.

Sharapova had left the court for an injury timeout during the second game of the third set. She came back with her left thigh taped and managed to win a game despite serving softly then walked to the net after Lucic-Baroni held serve.

"I apologize for having to withdraw from my match today with a left thigh injury. I will be getting all the necessary examinations to make sure it is not serious," Sharapova said in a statement. "I want to thank the tournament for giving me the opportunity to play in this special event again."

The retirement came 2 1/2 hours after French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli announced he would not award Sharapova a wild card for the French Open because of her doping ban.

Sharapova returned last month following a 15-month ban for testing positive for the banned heart drug meldonium at last year's Australian Open.

The Russian has used wild cards to enter all three tournaments in which she has played since her return.

By winning her opening match in Rome on Monday, Sharapova earned enough points to enter the top 200 next week and gain direct entry to the qualifying tournament for Wimbledon.