Second big-name withdraws from Sydney

World No.14 Elina Svitolina has become the second high-profile woman to withdraw from the Sydney International just hours into the opening day of the tournament.

The sixth seed cited a viral illness for her decision to pull out of the Australian Open warm-up.

“I’ve had constant headaches for the last two days and unfortunately in today’s hot weather it got even worse when I was warming up and my body wasn’t ready to compete,” Svitolina said.

“I love playing in Sydney, it’s one of my favourite stops during the season. Hopefully I can come back next year and play in front of the amazing fans here.”

Svitolina’s withdrawal comes on the back of recently-crowned Brisbane International winner Karolina Pliskova’s resignation on Sunday morning due to a thigh injury.

Veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova became the first woman through to the second round after defeating Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1 6-4 on Ken Rosewall Arena.

The world No.9 will now play either Australian Samantha Stosur or Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

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