NOTTINGHAM, June 3, 2016
Victoria Azarenka has confirmed on Friday that she has had to withdraw from the Aegon Open Nottingham because of injury.
Azarenka has spent the past two days at the Nottingham Tennis Centre practicing on grass ahead of the WTA International event, however, she has not been able to prove her fitness after retiring in the first round of the French Open.
Despite her withdrawal, a star-studded field remains in Nottingham with former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniaki and top British players, Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Naomi Broady and Laura Robson, are all ready to begin their grass court campaigns.
On the announcement, the 26-year-old Belarussian said: “’I am very disappointed to have to withdraw from Nottingham. Although I came here a few days ago to prepare and start training, my knee is unfortunately not yet completely healed and ready to play at 100%. I had been very much looking forward to playing here in front of the fans in Nottingham at this great event. I have been made to feel so welcome by everyone here and the facilities, includig the grass courts, have been excellent, but hope to have a chance to come back next year instead.”
The Aegon Open Nottingham (WTA) Tournament Director, Rebecca James, said: “We are disappointed that Victoria has had to withdraw from the event however we remain very excited about the top quality tennis that is coming up this week. It is the nature of the sport that players pick up injuries, and we all wish Victoria a speedy recovery. We would love to welcome her back to Nottingham in the future. Preparations are all on track, and as Victoria said, the courts are in fantastic condition and I can’t wait for the tournament to get underway.”
The withdrawal follows America’s Madison Keys and 2015 finalist Monica Niculescu have also withdrawn due to injury.
The Aegon Open Nottingham will see two tournaments take place in June, with the women’s WTA event being staged from 4-12 June 2016. Both tournaments will be an integral part of the British grass-court season, which features 11 international grass-court tournaments in eight venues across the country.
Fans can watch action at the Aegon Open Nottingham for as little as £5. More details: https://www.lta.org.uk/major-events/aegon-open-nottingham
Earlier this year the LTA announced exciting changes to the three week 2017 grass court tournament calendar. Nottingham will host a combined men’s and women’s tour-level tournament in the same week for the first time in 44 years.
The pre-existing ATP 250 tournament will move back to Eastbourne, merging with the WTA Premier Aegon International to form a combined event (as it was from 2009-2014) featuring the following format: a 28-player main draw men’s event and 48-player main draw for the women staged across nine days. Other changes include a doubling of prize money at the Aegon Trophy Series (ATP Challenger & ITF Women’s Pro Circuit) creating the highest value circuit at this level in world tennis.