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World No. 3 Azarenka pulls out at Miami

MIAMI (AFP) –

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus speaks to the media on March 19, 2013 in Key Biscayne, Florida

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus speaks to the media on March 19, 2013 in Key Biscayne, Florida. Azarenka, the reigning Australian Open women’s champion, withdrew from the WTA and ATP Masters Miami hardcourt event on Friday due to a right ankle injury suffered last week.

World No. 3 Victoria Azarenka, the reigning Australian Open women’s champion, withdrew from the WTA and ATP Masters Miami hardcourt event on Friday due to a right ankle injury suffered last week.

Azarenka, from Belarus, complained of ankle pain after a 6-3, 6-1 fourth-round victory over Urszula Radwanska in the Indian Wells quarter-finals and withdrew on March 14 before she was to face Caroline Wozniacki.

“I am very disappointed that I am unable to compete this year in Miami,” Azarenka said. “This is one of my favorite events and the Miami fans are always supportive.

“I have been working very hard to rehab my ankle this week but unfortunately it is still not fit to play. I look forward to returning next year.”

Azarenka is unbeaten on the court this year, a 17-0 run that includes the Australian Open and a title in Doha, but she has twice surrendered matches by walkover, the first in January at a Brisbane semi-final against Serena Williams with an infected right toe that resulted from a pedicure.

Azarenka was replaced in the Miami draw by US lucky loser Lauren Davis.

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