World No.1 Victoria Azarenka hurt her ankle in the semifinals en route to her last week’s Doha title, and the injury’s response was a big question mark for this week’s Dubai tournament. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Belarusian eventually realized she can’t play the Premier-level Dubai event and withdrew prior to her opening match. She said she took a lot of painkillers, but nothing could help, as she had to adjust her movements which compromised other parts of her body. She now plans to go to Belarus and spend time with her family.
With Petra Kvitova also out due to illness, defending champion Caroline Wozniacki is the highest seed left in the tournament. The Dane topped her second round opponent Simona Halep 6-2 6-3 and will next play Ana Ivanovic, who defeated Maria Kirilenko 6-2 7-6(4). Other quarterfinal pairs include Julia Goerges vs. Daniela Hantuchova, Jelena Jankovic vs. Samantha Stosur and Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Sabine Lisicki. (photo: Johan Rivera, follow him on Twitter @HobbiesPlus)