Karolina Pliskova out of the Australian Open

Australian Open dealt another blow as top WTA star withdraws with injury

Karolina Pliskova has been dealt an injury blow ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne next month.

The world number four reached the semi-finals in 2019 and the quarters this year, but a hand injury sustained in a practice session means she has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming event.

Pliskova has followed Serena Williams (injury) and Bianca Andreescu (mental health) in pulling out of the first Grand Slam of the season.

She will also miss WTA tournaments in Adelaide and Sydney although her injury is not believed to be an especially long-term one.

“Unfortunately I hurt my right hand in practice yesterday and I won’t be able to play in Adelaide, Sydney, and (the) Australian Open this year.

“I am sad not being able to start my season in Australia and I will miss my Australian fans very much.”

It is still expected to be a strong field for the WTA side of the event, although it remains to be seen what effect, if any, the vaccination mandate has on participation.

After weeks of debate, the Victoria government recently confirmed all players wishing to enter Australia to compete would have to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

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