| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka was forced to withdraw from the 2012 Pan Pacific Open quarterfinals on Thursday, a day after experiencing dizziness in her third-round win over Italy's Roberta Vinci. Azarenka's scheduled opponent on Thursday, fifth-ranked Angelique Kerber of Germany, advanced to the semifinals on a walkover.

"I'm very sorry to be withdrawing. I would have loved to go out on the court and shown my best tennis, but my health is the most important thing," said Azarenka. "I want to come back here next year and show some good tennis to the Japanese fans."

Azarenka, playing in her first tournament since losing in the U.S. Open final to Serena Williams, had her blood pressure checked midway through the first set of Wednesday's match but bounced back. She said she has been struggling with her health since arriving in Japan.