Azarenka withdraws at Sony with ankle injury

Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the Sony Open

before her opening match Friday because of a lingering right ankle

injury.

The third-ranked Belarusian was replaced by lucky loser Lauren

Davis of the United States.

The same injury forced Azarenka to withdraw before her

quarterfinal match a week ago at Indian Wells because of

inflammation and tendinitis.

Earlier this week, the third-ranked Azarenka was optimistic she

would play. On Friday, she released a statement saying she’s ”been

working very hard to rehab” her ankle, but ”it is still not fit

to play.”

Azarenka won the tournament in 2009 and 2011.

Azarenka is 17-0 this year with two titles. She’s withdrawn from

three tournaments, including the Australian Open before the

semifinals because of a right toe injury.