Skip to main content

Azarenka and Sharapova both in doubt for start of U.S. Open

updated 5:26 PM EDT, Fri August 10, 2012
Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka is a big doubt for the U.S. Open, which starts on August 27.
Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka is a big doubt for the U.S. Open, which starts on August 27.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Victoria Azarenka is struggling for full fitness after heavy schedule this season
  • Australian Open champion will also miss next week's Cincinnati Masters
  • Belarus star is hoping to make it past fourth round at Flushing Meadows for first time
  • Second-ranked Maria Sharapova withdraws from second consecutive event due to illness

(CNN) -- World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka is facing a race against time to be fit for the U.S. Open after succumbing to the frenetic schedule of women's tennis.

The Belorussian was forced to withdraw from the Montreal Cup with an injury to her left knee midway through the first set of her opening match against Tamira Paszek on Thursday.

With just 17 days until the start of the competition at Flushing Meadows, the Australian Open champion's hopes of adding to her sole grand slam triumph look slim.

The 23-year-old reached the semifinals of Wimbledon last month, before going on to compete at the London 2012 Olympics where she won bronze in the singles and gold in the mixed doubles on Sunday.

The workload has taken its toll on Azarenka, who will now also miss next week's Cincinnati Masters event.

Victoria Azarenka targets 2012 success
World No. 4 Maria Sharapova has long been known for her on-court shrieks and the Russian has recently attracted criticism as a result. The three-time grand slam champion claimed she will continue to make the noises until they are outlawed. World No. 4 Maria Sharapova has long been known for her on-court shrieks and the Russian has recently attracted criticism as a result. The three-time grand slam champion claimed she will continue to make the noises until they are outlawed.
Sharapova's shriek
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
The noisiest players in tennis The noisiest players in tennis
World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka has come a long way since first picking up a tennis racket in her native Belarus. World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka has come a long way since first picking up a tennis racket in her native Belarus.
Humble beginnings
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
>
>>
The tennis journey of Victoria Azarenka The tennis journey of Victoria Azarenka
Sharapova: It's a special victory

"The last week took so much energy out of me that I had absolutely no time to recover, and my body is feeling it," she told reporters.

"It was a little bit too quick of a transition for me to come and start the training, and I felt my knee just wasn't in good shape.

"It's unfortunate because I was really looking forward to playing here. I have really enjoyed being here. I tried yesterday and today it just got worse. I can't see the point of continuing to play if I can't give even 50% of my game."

Azarenka, who has never made it past the fourth round at the U.S. Open, said she needs rest and recuperation if she is to line up in New York later this month.

"I hope it's a short-term thing. I have to just stop and take a little bit of time off because I had absolutely no rest for a long period of time. I just need to settle it down and go from there. Hopefully there's nothing serious about it," she said.

"If I cannot play here, there is no chance for me to play anywhere else. My first goal is to get healthy and make sure I'm 100% ready to play the U.S. Open."

The hectic schedule claimed another victim when world No. 2 Maria Sharapova also pulled out of the WTA Tour event in Cincinnati.

The French Open champion, who was defeated in the Olympic final by Serena Williams, missed Montreal due to a stomach virus.

The Russian hopes to recover in time for the U.S. Open, which she won in 2006.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
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.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Fri March 21, 2014
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Wed March 5, 2014
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
updated 9:48 PM EST, Sat February 1, 2014
Li Na outperformed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open, but can she now surpass the Russian as the world's richest female athlete?
Roger Federer may have lost again to Rafael Nadal in the business end of a grand slam, but he can take some heart from yet another record says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 8:58 AM EST, Tue January 21, 2014
Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker -- today's tennis stars are teaming up with past legends of the game.
updated 1:59 PM EST, Wed January 15, 2014
Can't stand the heat of the first tennis grand slam of 2014? Then you clearly haven't been doing enough Bikram yoga.
After nearly a decade without any real change at the top of men's tennis, CNN's Will Edmonds looks at next generation of future stars.
updated 8:14 AM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Ana Ivanovic is still seeking to rediscover the form that took her to the top of the rankings -- but she has found a new lease of life.
updated 6:42 AM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
As a teen sensation, Bernard Tomic had the tennis world at his feet -- but he's in danger of blowing it, says Australian great Pat Rafter.
ADVERTISEMENT