Victoria Azarenka just can't seem to get her season started.
First she had to withdraw from the Brisbane International competition because of a botched pedicure that caused a painful ingrown toenail. Now, she's withdrawing from the Dubai Championships because of a bone bruise on her right foot.
Azarenka, who was replaced by Serena Williams at No. 1 on Monday, said she hurt her foot a week ago in Doha, Qatar, en route to the final, where she beat Williams. She showed no signs of and did not mention the injury while playing in Doha, where she successful defended the title.
"I have been playing on it a lot over the last five days so going to a new tournament is too much to handle right now. It keeps getting worse. It was an unfortunate decision that I had to make, and I'm very disappointeed," said Azarenka.
She said she was headed to the United States to have the injury evaluated and plans on playing in Indian Wells, California. Azarenka indicated that part of her reason for withdrawing has to deal with playing two weeks in a row against the world's top players. On the schedule in Dubai is Williams, along with No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 6 Angelique Kerber.
"Realizing that you play five days in a row against top players, sometimes is too much. You just try to play. And I tried, but my body says no. I cannot force it. I cannot put myself in a position to hurt myself. That would just be stupid," said Azarenka, who is being smart about her injury.
The Belarusian has won her last 12 matches, including her second Australia Open, but came under scrutiny at the Open for a lengthy medical timeout for what she said what a panic attack. It turned out to be breathing problems due to a rib injury.
Her withdrawal from Dubai ensures Williams keeps the No. 1 ranking for at least another week.
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