Sat, Jan 05, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Azarenka pulls out as Murray advances

RETURN TO FORM:After dropping a set to John Millman in a tiresome match on Thursday, Andy Murray was back on form yesterday, easily dismissing Denis Istomin in two sets

AP, BRISBANE, Australia

Azarenka said she had picked up an infection after a pedicure last week and had to have part of the nail on the big toe of her right foot removed. 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.”

Williams said she could empathize with Azarenka.

“I like Vika. I think she’s a great player. I love playing her,” Williams said. “I had that toe problem just a couple weeks ago and it’s painful ... it’s so painful. Doesn’t sound painful, but it is. You can’t walk with that. I hope she gets better fast.”

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