The 2014 tennis season has barely begun, yet the list of the injured and ailing has grown with each passing day. The most high-profile injury concern belongs to the newly-engaged Caroline Wozniacki, who was forced to withdraw from the Brisbane International with a right shoulder injury. Wozniacki felt the pain after her last practice before flying to Australia to start the season, but she ‘s still optimistic she will be able to play next week’s Sydney International.
“Serving probably is … the worst,” Wozniacki told reporters in Brisbane, “but for me, right now I just need some good physio, good treatment, and my head is still in Sydney. I’ve been working really well and hard in this off‑season with no problems. I wanted to start of the year well. That’s why I made the decision to withdraw from here, just because I didn’t feel like there was a need to make it worse before going into the [Australian] Open as well.”
The good news for Wozniacki is she’s back on court training:
Wozniacki isn’t the only one on the injured list. Here are some of the notable withdrawals and retirements a mere four days into the season. We’ll continue to update the list as the Australian Open approaches:
Richard Gasquet: L’Equipe reports Gasquet is doubtful for the Qatar Open due to a back injury. He ended up playing through the pain and lost to Gael Monfils 6-2, 7-5.
Sabine Lisicki: After winning her first-round match, she withdrew from Brisbane with gastrointestinal illness.
Laura Robson: Withdrew from the ASB Classic in Auckland with a wrist injury, but arrived in Melbourne early to continue preparing for the Australian Open.
Janko Tipsarevic: Withdrew from the Chennai Open and Kooyong exhibition due to a ruptured heel tendon. The foot injury also ruled him out of the Davis Cup final in November. [Updated: Tipsarevic has withdrawn from the Australian Open.]
Jerzy Janowicz: Withdrew from Hopman Cup with a foot injury he sustained while on vacation during the off-season. He is still in the player field in Sydney.
Tommy Robredo: Withdrew from the Hopman Cup due to an arm injury.
Nicolas Almagro: Withdrew from Sydney with a right shoulder injury.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: Retired in her second-round match in Brisbane due to a left thigh injury. She still hopes to play the Hobart International next week.
Mikhail Youzhny: The Russian retired from his second round match in Chennai due to illness.
Fabio Fognini: Withdrew from his first round doubles match and retired from his first singles match in Chennai with a left leg injury.
Flavia Pennetta: Retired four games into her match against Eugenie Bouchard at Hopman Cup with a right wrist injury. That’s the same wrist that required surgery and kept her out of most of the 2012 season.
Lu Yen-Hsun: Withdrew from Chennai with a right leg injury.
Ashleigh Barty: After beating Daniela Hantuchova in Brisbane in the biggest win of her career, she was forced to withdraw from both Brisbane and Hobart International due to a left adductor tear.
Nick Kyrgios: Withdrew from Brisbane with a right shoulder injury but still in the player field for the Sydney qualifying tournament.
Jurgen Melzer: Withdrew from Brisbane and World Tennis Challenge in Adelaide due to shoulder surgery. Doubtful for the Australian Open. [Updated: Melzer withdrew from the Australian Open.]
Elena Vesnina: Withdrew from Auckland due to right ankle injury.
Timea Babos: Lost eight straight games in her first match of the season at the Shenzhen Open and retired due to gastrointestinal illness.
Julian Reister: Retired from his first match in Chennai due to illness.
Alexandra Cadantu: Retired from her first match in Auckland with a right shoulder injury.
Maria Kirilenko: Withdrew from Brisbane and the Australian Open due to knee injury.
Nadia Petrova: Withdrew from the Australian Open due to family tragedy. Her mother was killed in a car accident in December.
Urszula Radwanska: Withdrew from the Australian Open due to shoulder injury.
Brian Baker: Withdrew from Australian Open due to knee injury.
UPDATED: The list just keeps on growing.
Sloane Stephens: Retired from her final match at Hopman Cup against Petra Kvitova with a sore left wrist. She says she’s confident she’ll be ready for the Australian Open and is in the field at the Sydney International.
John Isner: Withdrew from Hopman Cup before his final match against Radek Stepanek citing a right ankle injury he picked up during practice. He’s still in the draw for the Heineken Open in Auckland, New Zealand.
Vasek Pospisil: Retired down 6-4, 5-5 to Stanislas Wawrinka in the semifinals of Chennai due to a back strain.
Jamie Hampton: Withdrew from Auckland before her semifinal match against Venus Williams due to a right hip injury sustained in practice.
Vania King: Withdrew from the Shenzhen Open before her semifinal match against Peng Shuai with a right thigh injury.