Pullouts cost dear to Serena, Azarenka

Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka have both been punished by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for their belated pullouts from this week’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

By Alex Leach

Published: Sun 24 Feb 2013, 12:14 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:54 AM

World number one Williams and number two Azarenka will now forfeit $50,000 and $100,000 from the WTA’s bonus pool respectively, with both competitors having zero points imposed for one tournament on their world ranking calculations.

Azarenka’s financial penalty is twice that of Williams’ because this withdrawal is the second time in as many years the Belarusian has thrown in the towel after the entry deadline.

This move to penalise the top two professionals on the women’s circuit is seen as a blow though to the WTA Tour’s Roadmap campaign, which has seemingly made great strides in reducing the non-participation of players in recent seasons.

It’s unlikely to have much of a bearing — if any — on the careers and cash flow of Williams and Azarenka either, with both competitors earning millions of dollars and points aplenty on a yearly basis.

Azarenka pulled out of the competition on Tuesday with bruising on her right heel bone and Williams followed suit 24 hours later citing a lower back injury.

Azarenka’s withdrawal in Dubai meant Williams was guaranteed the top spot in the standings until the start of April.


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