Azarenka pulls out of Rogers Cup with knee injury

Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the Rogers Cup on

Friday because of a knee injury, but she hopes to be ready for the

U.S. Open.

Azarenka was tied 3-3 in her second-round match against Tamira

Paszek when it was suspended by rain Thursday night. The

23-year-old Belarusian won two Olympic medals in London, taking

gold in mixed doubles and bronze in singles.

”I hope it is a short-term thing, but I don’t know,” Azarenka

said. ”I have to kind of stop and just take a little bit of time

off because I absolutely had no rest for a long period of

time.”

Azarenka said she’ll skip the Western and Southern Open next

week in Cincinnati. Getting ready for the final major of the year

is her top priority, she said.

”The first is to get healthy, to make sure that I’m a hundred

percent ready to play at the (U.S.) Open,” Azarenka said.

Meanwhile, Lucie Safarova upset Samantha Stosur 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5)

to reach the quarterfinals. Caroline Wozniacki, the 2010 champion,

defeated qualifier Kiki Bertens 7-5, 6-1.

Petra Kvitova dispatched Marion Bartoli 6-1, 6-1.

Azarenka said the knee did not bother her during the Olympic

tournament, which was held on the grass courts of Wimbledon.

”It actually just happened when I came here,” Azarenka said

about practicing on the Montreal hardcourts. ”When I started to

train, the first time I hit it was a little bit of a compensation

from the other court and it just happened.”

Also sidelined is second-ranked Maria Sharapova, who withdrew

Wednesday because of a virus.