Wuhan Open: Victoria Azarenka Withdraws; Caroline Garcia Ousts Venus Williams
Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew due to an injury, while Caroline Garcia ousted Venus Williams early at the first edition of the Wuhan Open in China on Sunday.
Wild card entry Azarenka has withdrawn from the inaugural tournament citing an injured right foot that will take her out for the rest of the season.
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"Unfortunately I will not be competing in any tournaments for the remainder of the season," said Azarenka.
The 25-year-old Belarusian also missed other WTA events this year such as the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati where she was the champion in 2013.
The Former No. 1 said that she has been trying to improve just about every day but it seems "that does not appear to be the best approach for me right now," said Azarenka.
Replacing her is Lucky Loser Anika Beck of Germany who lost her match against American Coco Vandeweghe 6-2 6-2.
Garcia defeated the World No. 18 Williams in three sets 6-4 4-6 7(8)-6(6) and will face Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round.
Garcia and Williams traded breaks in the first two sets but held serves in the third set and deciding set that ended into a tie-breaking match.
Both players still wouldn't let up on their serves until 6-all when Garcia finally saw an opening and slammed a forehand winner.
Also moving into the next round is 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova who defeated Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-3 6-2 and will battle it out against current French Open winner and fellow compatriot Maria Sharapova.
Kazakhstan qualifier Zarina Diyas also saw action against Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic whom she outplayed in three sets 6-4 7(7)-6(1) 6-2 and faces seventh seed Angelique Kerber next.
Elina Svitolina, 20, of the Ukraine also won her match against Italian Camila Giorgi in straight sets 6-2 6-3 and awaits the winner of the Lucie Safarova and Sabine Lisicki matchup.