- Victoria Azarenka has withdrawn from the Dubai Open with injury
- The Qatar Open winner has been suffering with a heel problem
- Serena Williams the overwhelming favorite to win $2 million tournament
Victoria Azarenka has been forced to withdraw from the Dubai Open for the second successive year after suffering an injured heel.
Azarenka, who surrendered the World No.1 spot Monday to Serena Williams, was hoping to build on her title win at the Qatar Open where she defeated the U.S. star.
The Belorussian would have regained the No.1 ranking had she won the tournament, but Williams is set to remain at the summit until the Indian Wells tournament next month.
"I'm very disappointed, but I have to listen to my body," Azarenka told reporters.
"The injury happened last week when I played a lot of tennis, so going on to a new tournament is just too much. The heel kept getting worse, and I needed to re-evaluate.