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Azarenka withdraws at Sony with ankle injury

3/22/2013 1:16:00 PM

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) - Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the Sony Open before her opening match Friday because of a lingering right ankle injury.

The third-ranked Belarusian was replaced by lucky loser Lauren Davis of the United States.

The same injury forced Azarenka to withdraw before her quarterfinal match a week ago at Indian Wells because of inflammation and tendinitis.

Earlier this week, the third-ranked Azarenka was optimistic she would play. On Friday, she released a statement saying she's ``been working very hard to rehab'' her ankle, but ``it is still not fit to play.''

Azarenka won the tournament in 2009 and 2011.

Azarenka is 17-0 this year with two titles. She's withdrawn from three tournaments, including the Australian Open before the semifinals because of a right toe injury.