WTA Women's Singles number one Victoria Azarenka withdrew from her Brisbane International against Serena Williams with an infected right big toe on Friday, citing concerns about aggravating the injury so close to the start of the 2013 Australian Open (Jan. 14). Azarenka made the announcement 30 minutes before she was to play the third-ranked Serena, who has an 11-1 record against Azarenka and is on a roll after winning titles at Wimbledon, the London Olympics and the U.S. Open.
Azarenka has been trying to deal with a sore big toe on her right foot for 10 days, saying she'd picked up an infection after a pedicure last week. She had to have part of the nail on the big toe removed Thursday. She was planning to head to Melbourne and hoping it would only take two days before she can continue fully preparing for the season's first major.
"I tried everything. We tried medication with taping, and I was playing through the pain for quite a while,'' said Azarenka, who won the Sydney International and the Australian Open last year during a 26-match winning streak to start the season. "It's just something that I had to do to make sure that I can be fully recovered and ready for Australian Open. It's that sort kind of compromise I had to take. It's just very unfortunate timing, because I was really looking forward to playing and excited."