Tennis: Azarenka withdraws after topping Pe’er

No. 1 Victoria Azarenka suffered blow to French Open preparations when pulled out of Italian Open with shoulder injury.

Shahar Pe'er 311 R (photo credit: REUTERS/Daniel Munoz)
Shahar Pe'er 311 R
(photo credit: REUTERS/Daniel Munoz)
World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka suffered a blow to her French Open preparations when she was forced to pull out of the Italian Open with a right shoulder injury late Wednesday night shortly after thrashing Israel’s Shahar Pe’er to reach the third round.
Azarenka had shown no sign of discomfort when she walloped Pe’er 6-1, 6-2, but the WTA announced her withdrawal shortly after the victory to the surprise of everyone in the Foro Italico.
With just nine days until the start of the French Open, the Belarusian will hope for a quick recovery ahead of her bid for a second straight Grand Slam title.
Azarenka’s withdrawal handed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia a free ticket to the last eight, surely frustrating Pe’er, who must have been thinking to herself why couldn’t the No. 1 seed withdraw slightly earlier and gift the Israeli a third-round berth instead.
Pe’er has now failed to progress past the second round in eight consecutive tournaments.