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UPDATED: 10:40, January 08, 2005
Sharapova quits HK tennis exhibition game on fitness concern
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Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova quit the Hong Kong tennis exhibition game due to concerns upon fitness on Friday.

The 17-year-old Russian beauty said she suffered a stomachache and felt too weak to play competition.

"Last night at about 2 a.m. I woke up with an upset stomach, feeling cold and flu-like. I called the hotel doctor who gave me some medication," said Sharapova.

"This morning I felt very weak, I had no energy and I realized that I simply couldn't play.

"The doctor also told me that it would be best for me to rest until at least Monday.

"Obviously I feel very, very sad as I love Hong Kong and I wanted to play well for the fans. I am sorry, " added she.

The Russian girl, who came to the Hong Kong exhibition game for the third straight year, suffered her first blow in 2005 to lose the opener to her countrywoman Elena Dementieva 2-1 on Wednesday.

It's the second player to quit at the tournament following the Czech teenager Nicole Vaidisova withdrawal from Thursday's single match due to gastroenteritis.

Source: Xinhua

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