23 Feb 2012

Injured Azarenka withdraws from Dubai Open

2:18 pm on 23 February 2012

World tennis number one Victoria Azarenka has paid the price for her 17-match winning start to the year after being forced to withdraw from the Dubai Open with a damaged ankle.

Azarenka has been suffering from the ailment ever since winning her first Grand Slam title, the Australian Open, in Melbourne three weeks ago.

She managed to struggle through in Doha last week and win the Qatar Open as well, but only by taking painkillers.

Azarenka says she doesn't want to do any more damage and wants to make sure it's not really serious.

The casualty list makes it more likely that Caroline Wozniacki, the former world number one from Denmark, can make a successful defence of her Dubai Open title this week.