Injured Azarenka withdraws from Sony Open

ESPN staff
March 23, 2013
Victoria Azarenka is working on easing her ankle © AP

Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the Sony Open before her opening match on Friday because of a lingering right ankle injury.

The Belarusian was replaced by lucky loser Lauren Davis of the United States and she went on to beat Madison Keys.

The same injury forced Azarenka to withdraw before her quarter-final match a week ago at Indian Wells because of inflammation and tendinitis.

"I wanted to give my 100% possibility to play, and today was my last test," Azarenka said. "The last two days I tried to practice on it and it didn't get better. I thought I was sure before but wanted to be 100% sure I couldn't participate, because I was really looking forward to playing in this tournament.

"I'm really, really sad I don't have an opportunity to play here. I love playing here. I won two times, and I had great results here all the time. I have very good memories. I think the tournament is incredible. The whole field is here. Of course I'm very disappointed for the fans, as well. But I have to take my health into consideration.

"I tried everything I could but couldn't make it. It's an unfortunate part of our job."


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