Sharapova said today however that she told the WTA Tour officials months ago that she would not be playing Berlin, which again
revisits the bind fans often find themselves in after their favorite players withdraw from tournaments and they are left with
nonrefundable tournament tickets.
"As many of you know, the WTA Tour makes many players enter tournaments that they know the players will not be playing," Sharapova
said. "I informed the WTA several months ago that if I played Charleston, I would have to pull out of Berlin. Now they are forcing me
to give an injury for the reason why I am pulling out or they will give me an additional fine on top of the $125,000 fine already
given to me. I am a very giving person, but I refuse to give anymore of my money to the WTA Tour. So I want everyone to know
that besides getting sick the past few days, I am healthy and I am looking forward to playing Rome. The good news is that the new
road map for next year should solve all these problems."
Sharapova went on to decry a WTA marketing shoot to be filmed during the Rome tournament which is to be played the week after Berlin.
"I want all my fans to know that the WTA Tour is forcing me and several of the other top players to do a 4 hour commercial shoot
for WTA Tour marketing materials," Sharapova said. "They want me to do this shoot on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday of the Rome
tournament after flying 12 hours from LA. I have set my own personal rules when it comes to doing shoots and I never do shoots
before tournaments because it's mentally draining and I want to just focus on my tennis. Now the WTA is telling me if I don't do
this shoot they will fine me over $300,000. As you can see the WTA Tour loves to fine players. To be honest, I would love to do this
and help promote the tour as much as possible, but to force me to do this shoot the day before a Tier 1 tournament is just not right."
Also entered in Rome are Wimbledon champion Venus Williams of the USA and her sister Serena Williams, who is 19-1 in match
play this year.