18 May 2012

Shoulder injury forces Azarenka out of Italian Open

6:03 am on 18 May 2012

The tennis world number one Victoria Azarenka is facing a battle to be fit for the French Open after the top seed pulled out of the Rome Masters with a shoulder injury.

The Belarussian now has 10 days to recover in time for the start of Roland Garros on May the 27th as she seeks to back up the Australian Open title she won over Maria Sharapova.

Azarenka was the last on court on Thursday when moved past the talented Israeli Shahar Peer with a 6-1 6-2 victory in the second round.

Her withdrawal handed a walkover victory to her scheduled third-round opponent Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

The 14th-seeded Cibulkova will play in the last eight on Saturday against the winner from eighth seed Li Na of China and Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa.