Skip to main content

World No.1 Azarenka quits Dubai to rest injured ankle

updated 3:31 PM EST, Wed February 22, 2012
Victoria Azarenka was troubled by her ankle on her way to winning last week's Qatar Open.
Victoria Azarenka was troubled by her ankle on her way to winning last week's Qatar Open.
  • World No.1 Victoria Azarenka pulls out of $2 million Dubai Open tournament
  • Azarenka was due to play Julia Goerges of Germany in the second round
  • Australian Open champion has niggling ankle injury
  • Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki wins her last 16 match

(CNN) -- World No.1 Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the Dubai Open Wednesday because she did not wish to risk an ankle injury she has been carrying since winning the Australian Open last month.

The top seed was due to face Germany's Julia Goerges in the last 16, having received a first round bye at the $2 million WTA tournament.

But the Belarus star said she did not want risk her season and long-term future by playing with an injury.

"I don't want to repeat mistakes I made before," she told AFP.

"I would sometimes play when I was not a hundred percent, when I was only fifty percent sometimes.

"It did no good for myself or the tournament. Health is the most important thing. After tennis there is hopefully a long life, and I can't jeopardize that."

I would sometimes play when I was not a hundred percent, when I was only fifty percent sometimes
Victoria Azarenka

Azarenka went to the top of the rankings with her stunning straight sets win over Maria Sharapova in the final of the first grand slam of the year and consolidated her position by winning the Qatar Open, despite the ankle problem.

"Last week it already hurt in the semifinal, and in the final I tried to do everything, you know, to be able to play. It took a lot of sacrifice by taking a lot painkillers, but apparently didn't get better," she told the official WTA website.

"Just taking it day by day and doing absolutely everything possible to be ready today. I tried to hit yesterday, and I mean, it's just it was really clear that it's not really possible," she added.

Azarenka is likely to return home to Minsk to rest ahead of the March hard court season in the United States.

Following the earlier withdrawal of Petra Kvitova, it left defending champion Caroline Wozniacki as the highest ranked player left in the event and she comfortably reached the quarterfinals as she beat Romanian qualifer Simona Halep 6-2 6-3.

U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia also progressed, beating Lucie Safarova 6-1 6-7 6-1.

Safarova upset Wozniacki in Doha last week, but had no answer to Stosur in the deciding set.

Fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland ended the run of Israeli Shahar Peer 7-5 6-4, the match played on a secure outside court.

Peer, who became the first female Israeli player to compete in the UAE in 2010, had to cope with tight security during her stay, but was allowed to make a sightseeing visit.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 7:59 PM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
updated 2:00 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.