Tennis

Bum ankle forces Azarenka to withdraw

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KEY BISCAYNE, Florida (AP)

Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the Sony Open before her opening match on Friday because of a lingering right ankle injury.

The third-ranked Belarusian was replaced by lucky loser Lauren Davis of the United States.

Jennifer Capriati

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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 has a 17-0 record this year with two titles. She's withdrawn from three tournaments, including the Australian Open before the semifinals because of a right toe injury.

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