Injury forces Azarenka to quit Dubai event

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Injury forces Azarenka to quit Dubai event

Victoria Azarenka has pulled out of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the second year in succession with bruising on her right heel bone forcing her withdrawal from this week’s competition.

By Alex Leach

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Published: Thu 21 Feb 2013, 12:58 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:52 AM

The Belarusian, 23, came through five matches at the Qatar Open last week to defend her title in Doha, seeing off three players inside the top seven of the world rankings from the quarter-finals onwards in the process.

However, she was clearly playing through the pain — with her general movement seeming restricted between points and strapping clearly visible on her right leg — which has ultimately led to another no-show here. “I unfortunately have to withdraw from this tournament due to a right foot injury, which happened last week,” Azarenka said.

Victoria Azarenka during the press conference in Dubai on Tuesday. — KT photo by Shihab

“I have been playing on it a lot, especially with a lot of tennis over the last week, so going into a new tournament is too much to handle right now. It keeps getting worse.

“It’s an unfortunate decision that I’ve had to make and I’m very disappointed with that.

“I have been advised by my physio that it’s just not getting better. We tried, so that’s it.”

Scheduling is currently a hot topic in the modern-day game, with Spaniard Rafael Nadal recently hitting out at the ATP for adding more hard-court tournaments to an already crammed calendar. It’s clear as well the same concerns and issues are becoming all too prominent on the WTA circuit, with the 2013 Australian Open champion commenting: “I don’t know if it’s just the hard courts, but it is very difficult on the body.

“The game has become so physical and it takes so much out of you that — sometimes — you need a break. These little things that happen are simply giving you a warning that you have to take care of yourself because your health is the most important thing.

“It’s frustrating to not be able to play every week that you can, but you also need to listen to your body sometimes. The physical side of things is becoming harder and harder.” Azarenka now intends to travel to the USA and prepare for her next competitive appearance at Indian Wells.

“You just have to move on and deal with the situation,” she added. “I’m very disappointed that I cannot play here. I feel I’m playing well, but I need to be smart.

“I cannot force it. It wouldn’t make any sense. I cannot put myself in a position to hurt myself. That would be just stupid.”

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