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Victoria Azarenka withdraws from Sony Open with foot injury

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Victoria Azarenka was in obvious pain during her defeat against Lauren Davis. (Jeff Gross/AP)

Victoria Azarenka was in obvious pain during her loss to Lauren Davis. (Jeff Gross/AP)

No. 4 Victoria Azarenka has withdrawn from the Sony Open with an injury for the second year in a row.

A two-time champion in Miami, Azarenka is still recovering from a foot injury she suffered before the Australian Open. After losing to Lauren Davis 6-0, 7-6 (2) in her opening match at the BNP Paribas Open last week, Azarenka described the injury as “nerve damage” and she was unable to say she was practicing pain-free.

Azarenka wore a walking boot for three weeks in February and returned to the practice court only a week before Indian Wells. She chose to play the tournament to test the injury, but it became immediately clear that she was nowhere fit enough to compete.

“I am very sad not to be able to compete at this year’s Sony Open in Miami,” Azarenka said in a statement. “I love playing in the U.S. and my results in the past were also great. But it’s been now over a year that it seems that bad luck has been following me. I couldn’t play in Miami last year with a problem in my ankle and now this with my foot. It is time for me to think about my recovery and will work hard for that.”


  • Published On Mar 12, 2014
  • Injured Victoria Azarenka loses to Lauren Davis at Indian Wells

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    Victoria Azarenka was clearly in pain throughout the match. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

    Victoria Azarenka was clearly in pain throughout the match. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

    INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — No. 4 Victoria Azarenka admitted she may have come back from injury too early after suffering an awkward and painful 6-0, 7-6 (2) loss to No. 66 Lauren Davis in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday.

    Azarenka injured her left foot three days before the Australian Open and played through the pain to make the quarterfinals. Since then, she wore a walking boot for three weeks and resumed practicing only last week. Watching her practice sessions this week, it showed.

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  • Published On Mar 08, 2014
  • Injury-plagued Victoria Azarenka tempers expectations at Indian Wells

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    Victoria Azarenka is looking forward to taking the court again following a foot injury. (Ella Ling/BPI/Icon SMI

    Victoria Azarenka is looking forward to taking the court again following a foot injury. (Ella Ling/BPI/Icon SMI)

    INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Victoria Azarenka was the epitome of calm when she sat down to speak with reporters during her pre-tournament interview at the BNP Paribas Open. When a WTA handler tried to cut off the interview, she quickly brushed him off and insisted she wanted to stay and talk some more.

    That’s a rare move from any athlete — more time with reporters? Surely not — but it speaks volumes about Azarenka’s mindset this week. She’s just happy to be in Indian Wells after a month of uncertainty because of a foot injury that put her in a walking boot for three weeks in February.

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  • Published On Mar 05, 2014
  • Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki among players with slow starts to 2014

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    Petra Kvitova lost in the first  round of the Australian Open to No. 88 Luksika Kumkhum. (Andrew Brownbill/AP)

    Petra Kvitova lost in the first round of the Australian Open to No. 88 Luksika Kumkhum. (Andrew Brownbill/AP)

    We’re six weeks into the season, providing a good vantage point to analyze which players have started slowly. Here are three prominent WTA players who fit that category:

    Petra Kvitova: The surprising part about Kvitova’s slow start is the fact that she ended 2013 on a strong note. After a disappointing third-round loss to Alison Riske at the U.S. Open, Kvitova made the semifinals or better in her final three tournaments of the season. She was on her way to getting fitter during the offseason as well, having paired with a new trainer.

    Instead of staying on that upward trajectory, she lost to No. 107 Tsvetana Pironkova in the semifinals of the season-opening Sydney International and fell to No. 88 Luksika Kumkhum in the first round of the Australian Open. Both losses left Kvitova reeling after what she says was a productive offseason. She has now gone seven straight Grand Slams without making it past the quarterfinals, but the WTA’s swing through the Middle East could kick-start her season. She is set to play the Qatar Open and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships over the next two weeks.

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  • Published On Feb 07, 2014
  • Highlights from Agnieszka Radwanska’s win over Victoria Azarenka

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    Victoria Azarenka couldn't figure out how to get past Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals. (Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)

    Victoria Azarenka couldn’t figure out how to get past Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals. (Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)

    MELBOURNE, Australia — As Stanislas Wawrinka famously tattooed on his forearm, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” Agnieszka Radwanska came into her quarterfinal against two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka having lost their last 12 sets and had lost in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open four times.

    Then she decided to put on a show. Behind some incredible shot-making and guile, No. 4 Radwanska knocked out Azarenka 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 to advance to her first Australian Open semifinal where she’ll face surprise semifinalist No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova.

    Highlights and video:

    I call her The Ninja because just when you think you’re safe, she flips the script on you. Azarenka said after the match that Radwanska’s shot-making made her feel like “a spectator” out there. The Pole really put on a show today:

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  • Published On Jan 22, 2014
  • Agnieszka Radwanska dazzles in quarterfinal win over Victoria Azarenka

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    Agnieszka Radwanska gave no opportunity for Victoria Azarenka to come back in the third set. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

    Agnieszka Radwanska gave no opportunity for Victoria Azarenka to come back in the third set. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

    MELBOURNE, Australia — Agnieszka Radwanska unveiled her best tennis to knock out two-time defending champion, Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 to advance to her first Australian Open semifinal. The win snapped Radwanska’s seven-match losing streak to Azarenka, who had won their last 12 sets dating back to the 2012 quarterfinals here in Melbourne.

    Three thoughts on Radwanska’s stunning and crowd-pleasing win:

    Highlights from Agnieszka Radwanska’s victory over Victoria Azarenka

    Radwanska played the perfect match: Stat sheets don’t have a column for the number of “oohs”, “aahs” and “Oh no she di’n’t!” heard during the match. If they did, then Radwanska’s 23 winners to just 15 unforced errors would seem far more impressive than they initially seem. But Radwanska came out right from the start and played contained, error-free tennis to put the onus on Azarenka to be the aggressor. It was clear from the start that the defending champion wasn’t feeling her shots today and as the match wore on, Radwanska tightened the screws. The shots off her racket became more unpredictable and the placement more uncomfortable, and when Azarenka tried to make her move to break Radwanska’s serve, she stood tall.

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  • Published On Jan 21, 2014
  • The multi-talented Victoria Azarenka shows off her ball girl skills

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    After shutting the door on Yvonne Meusburger 6-1, 6-0 in the third round of the Australian Open, Victoria Azarenka demonstrates her best ball girl moves during her postmatch interview.

    The best part of the whole scene? When Azarenka asked for a ball, no one could find a spare ball. C’mon people, this is a tennis tournament!


  • Published On Jan 18, 2014
  • Photos: The eight most surreal photos from Australian Open Kids Day

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    They don’t call it the “Happy Slam” for nothing. (Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

    MELBOURNE, Australia — Tennis’ best came together to entertain the young ones at the Australian Open Kids Day on Saturday, which led to some surreal scenes on Rod Laver Arena.

    Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka, Lleyton Hewitt and others yucked it up on court alongside Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dora the Explorer and Spongebob SquarePants.

    Here are some of the wackiest moments from a fun afternoon:

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  • Published On Jan 11, 2014
  • Serena Williams beats Victoria Azarenka to win the Brisbane International

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    Serena Williams wasn't at her best, but she still beat Victoria Azarenka in straight sets at Brisbane. (William West/ AFP via Getty Images)

    Serena Williams wasn’t at her best, but she still beat Victoria Azarenka handily. (William West/AFP via Getty Images)

    New year, same result. Serena Williams successfully defended her title at the Brisbane International with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Victoria Azarenka in the final, a decisive signal to the rest of the field that the No. 1 player in the world has no plans on slowing down in 2014. After a grueling 2013 season that saw her post a 78-4 record and winning a career-best 11 titles, Serena stormed through the field in Brisbane, capturing her 58th career title without dropping a set.

    Three thoughts on Serena’s inaugural championship run:

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  • Published On Jan 04, 2014
  • Roundtable: Looking ahead to the major storylines of tennis in 2014

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    Can anyone emerge to consistently challenge Serena Williams for dominance in 2014?

    Can anyone emerge to consistently challenge Serena Williams for dominance in 2014? (Andy Wong/AP)

    Before the calendar turns to 2014, SI.com asked media from across the tennis world what they are most looking forward to in the upcoming year.

    Darren Cahill, ESPN commentator: Think back through every generation in the men’s game, and there’s always been young champions or teenagers bursting onto the scene making their presence felt in majors. The game needs youngsters challenging. We need this group of 23 & under players to step up in 2014 or a lot of the gloss with be erased. Milos Raonic, Bernard Tomic, Grigor Dimitrov, Kei Nishikori, Ryan Harrison, Jack Sock, to name a few. Milos has been very good in ATP events but struggled at majors. Grigor is yet to taste a round of 16 match at a Slam. Bernie has been… well, he’s been Bernie and completely unreadable. Kei has struggled with injuries and belief in the big matches, and the two Americans have been disappointing so far.

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  • Published On Dec 24, 2013


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