Two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka has pulled out of the Qatar Open 2014 tournament, citing foot injury as reason for the withdrawal.
The Belarussian first won the Premier Doha event in 2012 when she defeated Sam Stosur of Australia in the final. Last year, the world number 2, fresh from defending the Australian Open title, swept past Serena Williams of the United States in a three-set finale.
“I am sorry I can’t make it to Doha for the Qatar Total Open, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to recover on time from my ongoing foot injury. I am thankful to all my fans in Doha and I look forward to coming back next year. I wish the best of luck to the tournament and hope that fans enjoy watching the other players that will be coming to that great event,” Azarenka said in a statement.
“We are disappointed that Victoria cannot join us at this year’s event but we wish her a quick recovery and best of luck for the rest of theseason. Victoria has promised us that she will be back next year and we look forward to welcoming her to Doha once more,” said Qatar Open Tournament Director Saad Al Mohannadi.
Azarenka is the only active WTA player in line to receive the Diamond Ball trophy, an award given to a player to have won the event at least three times.
Serena Williams is entered in next week’s event and will be the heavy favorite to win the title.