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Injured Azarenka withdraws from Miami

(Reuters) - Victoria Azarenka announced on Thursday she is withdrawing from next week's Sony Open in Miami because of a foot injury. The Belarussian has been plagued by a problem with her left foot for the past month but played through the pain. Now, however, she says she needs to take a break to get it healed. "I love playing in the U.S. and my results in the past were also great. But it's now been over a year that it seems bad luck has been following me," she said in a statement released by the Women's Tennis Association.

Tennis: Azarenka pulls out of Miami tournament

World number four Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday withdrew from next week's ATP Masters and WTA tournament in Miami, where she has lifted the trophy twice. Azarenka is nursing a foot injury, one that hindered the 24-year-old from Belarus in a straight-sets second-round loss to 66th-ranked American Lauren Davis at Indian Wells this week. "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 US and my results in the past were also great.

Tennis: Azarenka limps out of Indian Wells

A hobbled Victoria Azarenka bowed out of the second round of the Indian Wells ATP Masters and WTA hardcourt tournament on Friday, falling in straight sets to American Lauren Davis. The third-seeded Belarussian was hindered by a painful left foot injury, delivering a dozen double-faults in a 6-0, 7-6 (7/2) loss to the 66th-ranked Davis. Azarenka was disappointed, but not surprised since she had returned to practice less than a week before the tournament after spending three weeks with a walking boot on her ailing foot.

Tennis: Davis topples hobbled Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka's fighting spirit just wasn't enough on Friday as the injured third seed was sent packing from Indian Wells by 66th-ranked American Lauren Davis. With the world number four from Belarus hobbled by a painful left foot, the 20-year-old Davis triumphed 6-0, 7-6 (7/2). "Basically all I had was my fighting spirit today," said Azarenka, who was playing her first tournament since a quarter-final exit at the Australian Open. She had returned to the practice court less than a week earlier, after three weeks in a protective boot.

Tennis: Qatar top seed Li Na out to build on Melbourne success

Li Na looks certain to build on last month's Australian Open triumph by reaching a career-high world number two next week - and could go on to become Serena Williams' nearest rival. The Chinese player is the unexpected top seed at the Qatar Open starting here on Monday, after a foot inflammation caused Victoria Azarenka's withdrawal and a persistently troublesome back forced Williams to pull out too.

Tennis: Top-ranked Serena says no to Indian Wells again

World number one Serena Williams has withdrawn from next month's WTA tournament at Indian Wells, an event which she entered last month after boycotting it since 2001. The move came only a few hours after the 17-time Grand Slam singles champion withdrew from next week's $2.4 million WTA event in Doha, Qatar, due to a back injury she suffered at the Australian Open. Williams, however, did not cite her injury as a reason for deciding against playing at Indian Wells in March.

Tennis: Top-ranked Serena says no to Indian Wells again

World number one Serena Williams has withdrawn from next month's WTA tournament at Indian Wells, an event which she entered last month after boycotting it since 2001. The move came only a few hours after the 17-time Grand Slam singles champion withdrew from next week's $2.4 million WTA event in Doha, Qatar, due to a back injury she suffered at the Australian Open. Williams, however, did not cite her injury as a reason for deciding against playing at Indian Wells in March.

Third-time lucky Li keeps her wits to win Australian Open

By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE (Reuters) - "Best speech ever" was the universal verdict to Li Na's unscripted thanks at the trophy ceremony after she erased two near-misses at Melbourne Park with a joyous victory in her third Australian Open final on Saturday. Runner-up in 2011 and 2013, the 31-year-old overwhelmed Dominika Cibulkova 7-6(3) 6-0 to win her second grand slam title and then left a packed Rod Laver Arena in stitches as she paid tribute to her team.

Factbox - Australian Open women's finalists

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Brief biographies of the women's finalists at the 2014 Australian Open on Saturday: - - - - Li Na (China) Age: 31 Seeded: 4 Grand Slam titles: 1 - French Open (2011) Li Na has continued her love affair with the year's first grand slam, where she has made at least the semi-finals four times since 2010.

Tennis: China's Li moves one win from second Slam title

Chinese trailblazer Li Na marched towards a second Grand Slam title Thursday by blasting past teenager Eugenie Bouchard and into the Australian Open final, where she will face Dominika Cibulkova. The fourth seed steamrolled the rising Canadian 6-2, 6-4 to continue her stellar form at Melbourne Park where she has now reached three finals, as well as another semi-final and the fourth round over the past five years.
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