Daria Gavrilova is confident she’ll be fit to contest the Australian Open next week, describing her injury withdrawal from the Sydney International as merely precautionary.
Gavrilova pulled the pin on Monday, the latest in a string of 11th-hour exits from lead-up events before the first grand slam of the season starting in seven days.
Australia’s newly crowned Hopman Cup winner’s scratching came hours before her opening-round clash with Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig at Olympic Park.
The 21-year-old world No.36 revealed she’s suffering from an abdominal muscle injury on the same left side as the tear that forced her to retire mid-match from last year’s French Open.
Gavrilova was deflated by the decision, which punctured the high of her fairytale Hopman Cup triumph alongside Nick Kyrgios on Saturday night.
“I’m a bit upset,” Gavrilova said.
“I was taped up in the finals (singles win over Elina Svitolina), and we just decided not to rush back playing here.
“If I had a bit more time, I would be fine. But it’s just a bit sore, so it’s a bit of a precaution.
“It’s not great timing, but I’m not too worried.
“Because it’s early days, I should be fine for Australian Open.”
Gavrilova’s setback follows the big-name withdrawals of world No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska (leg) and world No.6 and defending champion Petra Kvitova (gastro) and adds to the injury clouds hanging over the other top-six females heading into the Open.
World No.1 Serena Williams (knee), No.2 Simona Halep (Achilles), No.3 Garbine Muguruza (foot) and No.5 Maria Sharapova (forearm) have all pulled out of lead-up events.
But in-form world No.7 Angelique Kerber safely progressed to the second round in Sydney on Monday with a three-set win over Svitolina.
Gavrilova was replaced in the Sydney draw by Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova.
* Women’s world No.1 Serena Williams (knee) – in doubt
* Women’s world No.2 Simona Halep (Achilles tendon) – under a cloud
* Women’s world No.3 Garbine Muguruza (foot) – in doubt
* Women’s world No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska (leg)
* Women’s world No.5 Maria Sharapova (forearm) – in doubt
* Women’s world No.6 Petra Kvitova (gastro) – struggling
* Women’s world No.9 Lucie Safarova (bacterial infection) – out
* Samantha Stosur (wrist) – struggling
* Casey Dellacqua (concussion) – out
* Ajla Tomljanovic (abdominal strain) – under a cloud
* Daria Gavrilova (abdominal strain) – under a cloud